COSTA MESA, Calif. — It has been Justin Herbert watch week as he continues to nurse the rib injury he sustained last Thursday against Kansas City.
Regarding his status for Sunday, the Chargers have labeled him as questionable heading into the matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“They feel good,” Herbert said when asked about his ribs.
He did not throw a single ball during the portion open to the media during Friday’s practice. Instead, he watched as Chase Daniel and Easton Stick took the reps. He participated during Thursday’s practice and threw the ball numerous times.
“He’s tough,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said about Herbert. “He doesn’t feel great, by any means, but he was able to go out there and throw the football. I think a lot of it was seeing his response to each throw — then, obviously, after practice, and then this morning.”
Staley indicated that Herbert didn’t have a setback, so his not practicing was more about rest than anything.
“You want to make sure that he goes out there to actually throw, to see how he feels,” Staley explained. “Then, you want to get back to resting. That was the thought process, to put him through individual [period], get him out there, throw, perform the plan, and then see where he is. Using today as a rest day, and then seeing where we go here over the weekend.”
This week has been some up and down with Herbert. Staley mentioned that he did some light throwing on Tuesday, didn’t throw Wednesday, threw Thursday, and didn’t practice Friday.
“There have definitely been improvements,” Herbert said. “I think the most important thing is just to be prepared for Sunday and do your best, whatever that looks like.”
Listening to Staley and Herbert, it seems like Herbert will be a game-time decision. They will let him go through his routine and see how he is feeling.
“I don’t know,” Herbert said. “That’s a decision that we have a couple days left to make. We don’t play today. We play on Sunday. Whatever the plan is, I know that our team is going to be prepared to do everything we can.”
If Herbert indeed can’t play, it would be Daniel starting against the Jaguars, according to Staley.
“Chase looked like how he always looks — steady, poise, command, accurate, tough, all of the things that Chase is known for.,” Staley said.
There are some more notable injuries on the offensive side of the ball. Receiver Keenan Allen was limited on Wednesday and Thursday but didn’t practice on Friday.
“I think that Keenan [Allen] is 50/50 for the game,” Staley said. “We were able to see him, you guys were able to see him, yesterday at practice. Similar [to Herbert], we wanted to make sure that we gave him a day of rest, and then see how it is over the next 48 hours. I think he will be more of a game-time decision.”
Center Corey Linsley missed practice all week with the knee injury that kept him out of the second half of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He is listed as doubtful going into Sunday.
“He’s a guy that you can afford to rest because of his experience, you rely on games played and time on task,” Staley said. “With him, it’s just more about the rest and trying to get that thing strengthened and minimize the amount of pounding that would be there with him out there on the field for practice.”
The other two questionable players on the offense are tight end Donald Parham, who has been dealing with a lingering hamstring injury and right tackle Trey Pipkins with a foot injury.
There is one injury on the defensive end with cornerback J.C. Jackson dealing with an ankle injury. He is doubtful going into the game against the Jaguars.
“There hasn’t been a setback, per se,” Staley explained. “That’s not what’s happening. I think we’re just keeping the long-term in mind with him, making sure that he’s building for a full season. That’s where that is at with him. But, he’s in good spirits. I like where he is at.”