The Los Angeles Chargers offense runs through one person, quarterback Justin Herbert. Last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, Herbert took a massive hit and was in visible pain for the remainder of the game. Although he only missed one play after the apparent rib injury, the effects of the hit were obvious.
Now, in a tight divisional race where every matchup is important, will the Chargers have their star quarterback available against the Jacksonville Jaguars? Or, will veteran backup Chase Daniel get the start?
Update: Justin Herbert is active for the Chargers’ Week 3 game.
Is Justin Herbert playing today?
Although he remained in the game and even threw an impressive touchdown pass to bring the Chargers within one score of the Chiefs, Herbert was obviously dealing with an injury to his chest. It was revealed later in the week that the Chargers QB had suffered a fracture to his rib cartilage.
He was a limited participant in practice but missed the final day on Friday. However, according to the NFL Network’s Bridget Condon, Herbert said the plan was always to not throw or practice Friday and that it was not because he aggravated his injury.
He was then labeled as questionable for the team’s game against Jacksonville. According to Chargers head coach Brandon Staley, Herbert is truly a game-time decision at this point.
“It’s day-by-day, just waiting to see how he feels,” Staley said. “We’re going to progress through the rest of this week and see how it goes.”
Although Herbert himself has said that his ribs “feel good”, the team has been reportedly weighing the risk/reward of putting their young, franchise QB in harm’s way this soon after his fracture.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported this week that even though Herbert was practicing, the risk of aggravating his injury will play a big part in the team’s decision.
“But the biggest question is going to be how functional is Justin Herbert. This is not a long-term injury, but certainly a painful injury and you just don’t want one of the young stars in the game out there unless he is fully like himself,” Rapoport said. “It’s all been good so far, but I’m not so sure Justin Herbert is out of the woods just yet.”
Who is the Chargers’ backup QB? Depth chart behind Herbert
If Herbert does end up missing the game against the Jaguars, veteran Chase Daniel will serve as the starter. Daniel has been in the NFL since 2009 and has played on a whopping six different teams.
Daniel does not have a ton of experience actually starting games – he has just five starts in his career. However, he has played in over 70 games, whether due to injury or the starter being benched. He has completed 68.2 percent of his passes for 1,694 yards and eight touchdowns to seven interceptions.