"It feels like I have a cold right now because I'm so stuffed up," Mathews said Tuesday. "It wasn't fun, but hopefully it works."
Mathews missed practice but recovered in time to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the San Diego Padres' game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He's expected to practice Wednesday afternoon and play Friday night in a preseason game at New Orleans.
Mathews, the 12th overall pick in the April draft, has dealt with football-related bloody noses since high school. Dry heat adds to the problem, and a combination of an arid climate and full contact Saturday night caused Mathews' nose to bleed during a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Mathews was hit hard near the goal line, driving his helmet back into his nose. Mathews' nose started bleeding, which sidelined him for most of a series late in the first half.
"I've been getting them on and off for a while," Mathews said of the nosebleeds. "It's not like the nose bleeds forever or anything, but it is an inconvenience. It normally happens when I get hit pretty good, but it can also just start due to dry weather. The team thought it was a good idea to shore it up."
Notes: OLB Shawne Merriman missed another practice and will not play Friday. WR Craig Davis (hip), DL Ryon Bingham (back) and LT Nick Richmond (knee) also missed practice. RG Louis Vasquez (groin) and LB James Holt (hip) returned to practice after missing Monday's session. ... Training camp officially closed Monday, and the Chargers began following their regular-season routines Tuesday. They pumped in crowd noise to prepare the players for their first road game, at the Louisiana Superdome, and also barred the media for much of practice. ... Coach Norv Turner said most starters will play well into the third quarter against the Saints. ... Punter Cort Johnson was waived.