Chargers RB Mathews returns to practice without knee brace

One day after not practicing, San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews not only practiced on Friday but shed the protective knee brace he wore on Wednesday. Barring a setback, Mathews appears likely to play on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, according to a tweet from KNSD-TV. He was officially listed as probable.

Mathews had limited participation in practice on Wednesday. He has dealt with various injuries this season but has missed only one game -- a Nov. 6 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Mathews had 13 carries for 37 yards, including a costly fumble, in last Sunday's loss to the Chicago Bears. He has recorded 580 yards on 130 carries and 379 yards on 35 receptions this season.

Tight end Antonio Gates also returned to Chargers practice on Friday after getting the day off on Thursday and was listed as probable.

For a complete look at all injuries around the league, go to NFL.com's injury page.

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