San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews, top, runs as Jacksonville Jaguars safety Sean Considine tries to hold on, below, in the first quarter during their NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Chris Park)
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Two games into his NFL career, Ryan Mathews of the San Diego Chargers has two fumbles in two games, and no touchdowns.
The turnovers have cost the Chargers 10 points - a touchdown in a 21-14 loss at Kansas City in the opener and a field goal on Sunday in a 38-13 home-opening win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Mathews sprained his right ankle in the second quarter and sat out the rest of the game. Mathews wanted to return, but coach Norv Turner kept him out as a precaution. On Monday, Turner said only that Mathews was sore. The Chargers refuse to give out more injury information than they have to, and Turner noted that the next injury report will be issued Wednesday.
"The thing about Ryan, he was off to a great start," Turner said. "He had seven touches, he had 57 yards. He obviously came out of the backfield on a couple of passes, obviously the one was where he fumbled the football, but he was running the ball well. He was off to start what was going to be a very big day."
Turner said he thought Mathews was more relaxed than in the Kansas City game, when he became tentative after fumbling.
"We have some work with him to do in taking care of the football," Turner said. "I'm still not sure if it was a fumble or if it was not a fumble. I do know when you're young, guys go after you and they want to pull the ball away from you. He just has to continue to work to protect it."
Turner said he's concerned with Mathews, "like I am with every other guy. Everyone says it's a young guy. Well, some of it is a young guy, but Jacksonville has some pretty good backs and they got the ball knocked out. This league is about stripping the ball, and our guys did a great job. We've worked hard on it camp. You've just got to expect it's going to happen.
"He's got to take care of the ball. He went through training camp and was great taking care of the ball. He just relaxed at the end of the play. I think he thought he was down. But as I told him, you're not down until you hand the ball to the ref or you get up and start walking back to the huddle, and then put the ball down."
With Mathews out, Mike Tolbert had 82 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Mathews has 101 yards on 24 carries in two games, as well as three catches for 31 yards. Tolbert has 108 yards on 18 carries.
The Chargers forced six turnovers by Jacksonville. Besides Mathews' fumble, Philip Rivers was intercepted twice.