One of the biggest issues with the Eagles' offense during the team's loss to the Carolina Panthers, besides the fact that wide receivers couldn't catch a pass to save their lives, is that Ryan Mathews didn't get enough playing time. Mathews only played 16 out of 83 total offensive snaps. He made the most of his opportunities by rushing for 97 yards and one touchdown on six carries. He also had three receptions for 24 yards.
So why he didn't play more often? According to Chip Kelly, Mathews suffered a groin injury during the game.
"Ryan was hurt yesterday," Kelly said. "So when I talked to [Eagles running back coach Duce Staley] about it, and we talk about it all the time, is Ryan hurt his groin on the 22-yard run before he broke the long [63-yard] run and really couldn’t go. So Duce was monitoring him on the sideline, what he could do and what he couldn’t do. I think Duce does a great job with those guys. I have full trust in Duce doing that."
Here's the play where Mathews supposedly suffered the injury:
The 22-yard run Chip Kelly said that Ryan Mathews injured his groin on: https://t.co/ZLecHUMkWO— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) October 26, 2015
It's weird, though, because as Kelly acknowledges, Mathews was still able to run for that impressive 63-yard touchdown run after suffering the groin injury. Check out the replay:
Does this look like someone with a groin injury? https://t.co/dY05EDhKWP— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) October 26, 2015
"If you watch [Mathews], he kind of pulled by, when he pulled by [Luke] Kuechly he said he felt [the groin injury] again," Kelly explained. "He didn’t think he was going to make it into the end zone. And then Duce monitored him after that, so Duce is dealing with that in terms of whether he can go in the game after that or can’t go in the game after that. We used him a little bit, but that’s really the whole status of the whole thing, so I’ll tell you guys exactly what’s going on."
For what it's worth, multiple reporters didn't notice Mathews had an injury after the game.
Ryan Mathews didn't say anything about groin when asked about playing time. Didn't appear to get post-game treatment. Was walking fine.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) October 26, 2015
FWIW, I was at Ryan Mathews' locker post-game. He didn't get treatment. He didn't have any ice. He didn't mention an injury.— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) October 26, 2015
The injury-prone Mathews originally suffered a groin injury in practice leading up to the Eagles' Week 6 game against the Giants. Mathews was ruled questionable heading into the game but played. Mathews was not listed on Philadelphia's Week 7 injury report heading into this game.
Mathews has rushed for a total of 342 yards and three touchdowns on 56 attempts this season. His 6.1 average is the best in the NFL. It's clearly much better than the 307 yards and three touchdowns on 88 attempts (3.5 average) that DeMarco Murray has given the Eagles so far.