Chargers RB Ryan Mathews suffers broken clavicle, out 4-6 weeks

Mathews suffered a broken clavicle on his only carry of the night Thursday. (US Presswire)

Leading into the season, the Chargers expected running back Ryan Mathews to carry a huge workload in 2012. Those plans have likely changed as Mathews suffered a broken clavicle on Thursday night that will require him to have surgery and keep the running back out for four-to-six weeks.

The injury, per our Chargers Rapid Reporter Dan McLellan, will require surgery, with Mathews going under the knife on Friday.

"My hopes for Ryan [Mathews] have not changed," Norv Turner said, via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I still expect him to have a great year."

Mathews was injured on his only carry of the game -- a pitch right for five yards -- on a completely innocuous-looking play. He picked up his yardage, was tackled near the sideline by two Packers defenders, got up, rolled his shoulder a little bit and headed to the sideline. All the while, Jon Gruden was describing his potentially huge season that could be coming. And it's hard to blame Gruden -- a combination of Mathews being the only real workhorse back in San Diego, his strong finish to 2011, and Turner's propensity for running backs into the ground had him primed for a huge season.

Instead, the Chargers are now faced with a scenario that's going to involve Ronnie Brown as their primary back, along with Jackie Battle and Curtis Brinkley. It's a great running back situation suddenly turned quite somber.

And it also means that, once again, the Chargers could get off to a slow start to the season.

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CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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