San Diego Chargers GM A.J. Smith mentioned that he’s “very concerned” about Ryan Mathews ball security issues following a fumble in his first game of the season.
“It has to stop. I believe you can improve in ball security. And no one works any harder in trying to get better than Ryan. However, if it continues he will play less,” said Smith, via the Union-Tribune San Diego. “Extremely talented players like Ryan get multiple opportunities to improve. What happens to fumblers is, first, they play less. Second, if it continues while they’re playing on a limited basis, then you don’t play for a while and you get to sit and think about it. Third, when you get the call to go back on the field and the fumbling continues, then you will be somebody else’s fumbler.”
Mathews actually has 11 career fumbles in just 27 games played, so this is definitely a concern, but it’s hard to imagine that Chargers are really prepared to significantly reduce his carries any time soon. San Diego has some of the worst depth at running back in the league and Mathews is clearly their only play-maker amongst their group of backs. This is probably more of a motivation technique to apply some added awareness regarding his ball security, but another fumble this weekend could change things.