Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley revealed on Wednesday that starting quarterback Justin Herbert is day-to-day following a rib cartilage fracture. Herbert suffered the injury six days prior to the team’s Week 3 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
After the last game, “he got a lot of relaxation,” as Staley put it. “Now that he has adjusted, he can relax. I’m aware that he did some light throwing and rotational work the day before, but we’re taking it easy and will assess his progress on a day-to-day basis.”
During Wednesday’s brief media session during practice, Herbert did not throw a single pass. The third-year QB sat back and observed as backups Chase Daniel and Easton Stick practiced their throws. On the Chargers’ injury report, Herbert was labeled as a limited participant, although he did take part in handing off the ball to running backs.
Two other players who had been out with hamstring issues, receiver Keenan Allen and tight end Donald Parham Jr., made their way back to practice, albeit with reduced participation.
Staley has stated that the quarterback will have the final say on Herbert’s playing status on Sunday. The process will begin with him, with him considering his alternatives and coming to terms with the recommendations of the medical staff, as Staley put it.
Trey Lance, Justin Herbert, other crucial NFL injuries in Week 3 https://t.co/VyYZ3sa20t
— Sports Doc Matt (@sportsdocmatt) September 22, 2022
Former Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor is suing the team doctor treating Herbert’s injury for medical malpractice, seeking at least $5 million after suffering a punctured lung while being treated for a rib injury in 2020. Copies of the original lawsuit and subsequent filings related to the case were obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Staley stressed the importance of player welfare when asked Wednesday whether there was any concern about Herbert’s care in light of the recent history of quarterback care. Staley remarked that “your primary obligation as a coach is to take care of your players” in the event of a player experiencing adversity such as this.
So, “I think we have full alignment with Justin and his family, his agents, and then the medical professionals,” and “that’s what we’re going to attempt to do,” is to have alignment, trust the process, and get him well as quickly as possible.
The injury to Herbert occurred in Thursday’s 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. There were 5 minutes and 9 seconds left in the game when Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna made contact with quarterback Justin Herbert, knocking him out for several minutes.
Following his brief absence, Herbert was instantly smashed between pass-rushers Frank Clark and George Karlaftis of the Chiefs. However, Herbert didn’t drop out. Herbert has thrown for 613 yards and six touchdowns while only throwing one interception through two games.
Herbert, who was widely expected to be a first-round draft pick, instead decided to return to Oregon for his final year of eligibility. With three touchdown runs in the Rose Bowl victory, he was voted the game’s Offensive Most Valuable Player and helped lead the Ducks to a 12-2 record.
Herbert had a career-high 3,471 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns, and 4 rushing touchdowns in his best college season. In addition to his achievements on the field, Herbert was awarded the 30th William V. Campbell Trophy, popularly known as the “Academic Heisman.”