Who will back up Ryan Mathews? It seems doubtful that Darren Sproles will fill that role as Norv likes to keep him fresh for third down plays and in the kicking game. It appears that right now, the plan is to use fullback Mike Tolbert in that spot, but can he be considered more than a short yardage guy?
San Diego acquired RB Marcus Mason from the Redskins this off season, and on Saturday night, the guy looked slow and unexciting in an extensive audition during the 3rd and 4th quarters. Rookie, Shawnbrey McNeal did not get much of an opportunity, so look for him to get a shot in the next two weeks. Curtis Brinkley, a rookie out of Syracuse, actually looked the most explosive of these "other guys" in the few touches he had. Unless one of these players pulls out an amazing performance in the next couple weeks, I think it's going to be a combination of Tolbert, Sproles, and Jacob Hester backing up Mathews, with one of the "other guys" on the practice squad.
A couple more quick notes on the defensive side from Saturday night:
- Antwan Applewhite looked the best of the outside linebackers in getting to the ball and putting pressure on the QB. He knocked the 2nd string Bears QB out of the game. Jyles Tucker is big and strong, but seems to lack the quickness to get around the tackle.
- Rookie defensive tackle Cam Thomas showed off his quickness in the second half in throwing the center out of the way and getting into the backfield. He may be a real find. I'd like to see him get a chance against the starters of the Cowboys next week. Thomas also seemed to be having fun out there. There's something special about this kid.