The Philadelphia Eagles deemed running back Ryan Mathews to be healthy on Tuesday, opening the door to his potential release.
Coach Doug Pedersen informed reporters that Mathews had been cleared to return, according to Jimmy Kempski of The Philly Voice. That would seemingly preclude Mathews from collecting the injury-protection benefit in his contract and allow the Eagles to save $4 million by granting him his release.
Mathews is in the final season of a three-year, $11 million contract he signed to join the Eagles prior to the 2015 season.
Originally a first-round pick of the San Diego Chargers at the 2010 NFL Draft, Mathews spent five seasons with San Diego before leaving in free agency. The two-time 1,000-yard back has fought injuries and inconsistency throughout his time in the NFL.
Mathews was signed by the Eagles the same offseason as fellow running back DeMarco Murray to help give then-coach Chip Kelly a devastating rushing attack but it never came to fruition. Mathews would then go on to lead the Eagles in rushing in 2016 with just 661 yards.
Set to count for $5 million against the salary cap this fall, Mathews only has $1 million in remaining guarantees. However, the remainder of his salary was guaranteed for injury, which is why a clean bill of health now opens the door for his release.
Mathews was put on season-ending injured reserve last December with a herniated disc in his neck.