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Ryan Mathews out, Keenan Allen doubtful for Chargers

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The Chiefs were dealt a potentially fatal blow on Friday with quarterback Alex Smith being ruled out for Sunday's AFC West showdown with the Chargers due to a lacerated spleen.

The Bolts, meanwhile, have problems of their own.

San Diego on Friday ruled out starting running back Ryan Mathews with the ankle injury that has kept him sidelined since Week 14. It's an ugly loss for the Chargers, who will lean on rookie Branden Oliver with Donald Brown and Ronnie Brown also earning snaps against Kansas City. Quarterback Philip Rivers might also be without wideout Keenan Allen, who was listed as doubtful with the broken collarbone he sustained in a Week 15 loss to the Broncos

The Chargers, of course, are in the playoffs with a win. That task appears less daunting with Chase Daniel stepping in for the wounded Smith, but we don't love San Diego's chances in January if Mathews and Allen can't get back on the field.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the biggest matchups in Week 17 and makes its picks for the last week of the season. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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