Ryan Mathews likely to need surgery for herniated disk in neck

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles running back Ryan Mathews suffered a herniated disk in his neck against the New York Giants on Thursday, an injury that coach Doug Pederson labeled "a pretty major deal."

"I don't think it's career[-threatening]," Pederson said. "I don't have all the information. What I got from our doctors this morning is that it looks like surgery is in the near future. It just has to get fixed."

Pederson said Mathews will not play in Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys.

On third-and-goal from the Giants' 5-yard line during the third quarter, Mathews took a handoff out of the shotgun and drove forward, colliding with defensive tackle Damon Harrison at the end of a short run. Mathews stayed in the game and carried the ball on fourth down as well -- a run that came up short of the goal line.

Harrison was also hurt on the play.

Mathews, a seven-year veteran, had an up-and-down season due in part to injury, finishing with 661 yards and eight touchdowns. He was coming off one of his best outings of the year against Baltimore, when he posted 128 rushing yards and a touchdown.

"These last couple weeks, he has kind of been our workhorse at the running back position and did some really good things for us," Pederson said. "This obviously is unfortunate now that he can't finish the season for us."

Mathews is entering the final season of a three-year contract and is scheduled to make a base salary of $4 million in 2017. Pederson would not discuss whether Mathews will be back with the team, keeping the rest of the 2016 season and Mathews' health as the top priorities.

"I'm not going to speculate on that kind of stuff right now," Pederson said. "We'll save all those for the offseason and wait until that time to make any decision."
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