Holy crap.

Ryan Mathews was subjugated to the gallows by Norv Turner and his staff after the running back’s red zone fumble in week three. It was thought the Chargers brain trust was only sending a message to Mathews and his banishment would be brief.

After the Chargers dismantled the Chiefs on Sunday cracks in the aforementioned theory began to emerge. Jackie Battle received the majority of the carries, a fact that shocked Battle himself. Mathews was mistake free but it appeared Turner was doing more than sending a message – the worst cliche in sports, I apologize.

Today the depth chart on Chargers.com drops the hammer. Battle is now listed as the number one running back, with Mathews assuming the back up role. Going forward this shouldn’t send Mathews owners to the nearest bridge – it will remain a by committee system for now – but for those who drafted the Fresno State product high, the news is grim.

Update: Via Rotoworld, Jackie Battle is ahead of Ryan Mathews on the team’s official depth chart because “he just started last week, so that’s why he’s there.” Makes sense.