It has been almost a week since Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert took a vicious hit from Chiefs defender Mike Danna. He powered through the end of the game in noticeable pain.
On Wednesday afternoon, Chargers coach Brandon Staley still considered his quarterback day-to-day with the fractured rib cartilage.
“He’s had a lot of rest since the last game, but I think the nature of the week is truly going to be a case-by-case, day-by-day basis,” Staley said. “I know that he is feeling more comfortable.”
Staley mentioned that Herbert did participate in some “light” throwing on Tuesday afternoon, and everything checked out. The Chargers will let Herbert go through the week and see how he feels going into the game on Sunday.
He was limited on Wednesday during practice with the rib injury. Herbert was out there during the portion open to the media and went through his regular stretch routine. He did participate in handoffs but watched on as Chase Daniel and Easton Stick threw during team period.
“Just making sure that Justin [Herbert] feels like he can go do the job the way that he can do it,” Staley said. “That’s the big thing, him having confidence to be able to go play the game the way that it needs to be played.”
Staley did say that step one is Herbert giving the “I am good to go” nod, but there are other hurdles to determine if he can play on Sunday.
“It’ll start with him, and then, obviously, him feeling good about what the medical team feels like is best,” Staley said. “Him weighing the options, and then us making a good decision.”
The Chargers quarterback will wear a rib protector if, indeed, he does play Sunday against Jacksonville. He could also receive a pain-numbing shot. The last time it was given to a Chargers quarterback, it didn’t go as planned.
In 2020, Tyrod Taylor was the starting quarterback and had a rib injury. He received a shot and was taken to the hospital with a punctured lung. Taylor is now suing the Chargers team doctor that administered the shot, according to ESPN.
Staley said the player’s health is most important when asked if there was any trepidation given the recent history.
“Any player that goes through something like this, that is your biggest responsibility, as a coach, to take care of your players,” Staley explained. “I think that we have full alignment with Justin [Herbert], his family, his agents, and the medical professionals. That’s what we’re going to try and do, have alignment that way and just trust the process, and, hopefully, get him well soon.”
If Herbert can’t play, then Chase Daniel will most likely start. He hasn’t thrown an NFL pass since December 26, 2020, when he was a Detroit Lions quarterback facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Daniel completed 69% of his passes, throwing for 341 yards and three touchdowns during the preseason. It is just preseason, but it is his most recent body of work.
“Chase is going to be ready to play,” Staley explained. “During the week, if Justin [Herbert] is full-go for the week, then he doesn’t get any of the team reps in walk-through and stuff like that, but he’ll take the work team [reps]. But if he’s the guy that is practicing out there, then he will take the lion’s share of the reps, and we’ll be ready to go.”
Nuts N’ Bolts
- Chargers injury report: Did not participate: CB J.C. Jackson (ankle), C Corey Linsley (knee). Limited: QB Justin Herbert (ribs), WR Keenan Allen (hamstring), TE Donald Parham (hamstring), RT Trey Pipkins (foot).