Running back Ryan Mathews will not play against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. That should be good news, unless you selected him early in your fantasy football draft this year.
Even if Mathews did play, I’d have to believe he would have a hard time finding room to run through Seattle’s massive defense. The front four on the defensive line – Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole, and Chris Clemons – combine to weigh over half a ton and are predictably stout against the run.
With Mathews shelved for Sunday’s game, the San Diego Chargers will give the football to Mike Tolbert, a 5-foot-9, 243-pound wrecking ball. This season, Tolbert has carried the ball 18 times for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Tolbert might not be as talented or publicized as Mathews, but he provides a different version of smash-mouth football that could challenge Seattle’s massive front.
“They have to go at my legs cause I’m trying to decapitate anybody that’s out there,” Tolbert told the San Diego Union-Tribune earlier this week. “I’m not trying to run around anybody cause I get tired like that.”
As hybrid running back built like a fullback, Tolbert won’t shy away from contact and runs like a battering ram. The former undrafted player from Coastal Carolina could present some challenges to Seattle’s defense this weekend.
The Seahawks, however, should be up to the challenge. Through two games, Seattle is only allowing opponents to rush for 57 yards per game and 2.0 yards per carry.
Tolbert may run like a battering ram, but the Chargers will probably have to rely on the arm of Philip Rivers if they’re going to win at Qwest Field on Sunday.