Ryan Mathews, who has been out since early August with a broken clavicle, took a big step in his recovery during Thursday's practice. For the first time this season, the Chargers running back was cleared for contact and was able to participate in various drills, although he was still listed as limited by the coaching staff.
Here is the latest from San Diego:
Ryan Mathews (clavicle) was a limited participant in practice. Has been cleared for contact. Did some team drills.— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) September 13, 2012
Most figured Mathews was facing four-to-six weeks before returning to the field. It has now been five weeks, so it is pretty apparent he is on schedule to return sooner rather than later. Chargers head coach Norv Turner has said Mathews will play as soon as he feels up to it physically, and him putting on pads and a helmet on Thursday can only mean good things moving forward.
Mathews is still listed as questionable on the injury report for Week 2 and it is unclear whether or not he will play against the Titans. A game-time decision seems likely at this point depending on how his body responds following another day of practice on Friday.
For more on the Chargers and their injury situation, be sure to check out Bolts From The Blue.