Chargers RB Mathews expects to play despite foot injury

SAN DIEGO -- Ryan Mathews missed practice Thursday because of an injured left foot, a setback coming on the heels of what Chargers coach Norv Turner believes was the running back's best game as a pro.

Mathews ran 21 times for 98 yards and two touchdowns and added four receptions for 51 yards in a 20-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

A lack of practice snaps hinders the momentum built Sunday, but Mathews is confident his foot won't impede his progress.

"Practice certainly helps with timing, but I'm comfortable with the game plan," he said. "I'll get a full practice in tomorrow and I believe I'll be ready to go on Sunday."

Mike Tolbert, the other half of the Chargers' two-back system, is healthy and ready to go after sustaining a minor calf injury Sept. 18 against the New England Patriots.

"We're lucky that we have two quality backs in Mike and Ryan, who do a lot for us," Turner said. "With that said, we'll use the rushers that match up best with the Dolphins' defense."

Also missing practice were defensive end Jacques Cesaire (knee), receivers Vincent Jackson (abdomen) and Malcom Floyd (groin), cornerback Quentin Jammer (hamstring) and tight end Antonio Gates (foot). The likelihood of Gates playing on Sunday has decreased significantly.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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