Ryan Mathews reportedly to start for Chargers


After five weeks, we still aren't sure what we have in the San Diego Chargers. They beat three lousy teams, got blown out by the Atlanta Falcons and lost to a winless New Orleans Saints squad.

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The Chargers' backfield is a good symbol of the herky-jerky start. Ryan Mathews missed time with injury, then was benched for a few weeks because of his fumbling. He's clearly the most talented running back on the team and took over most of the workload in New Orleans, but it was Ronnie Brown on the field in the two-minute drill to end the game.

It looks like Mathews is ready to take over the top spot again. U-T San Diego reports that there are indications that Mathews will return to the starting lineup Monday night against the Denver Broncos.

"Every time he has adversity, every time he has a setback, he comes back stronger," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "He's done that since he's been here. Every time everyone wants to count him out, he comes back and he's better."

The ATL crew doesn't have a lot of faith the Chargers can beat the Broncos, but relying on Mathews is their best chance. Denver gave up 251 rushing yards last week to the New England Patriots, and its interior defensive line remains suspect.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.