Justin Herbert had an obvious step down in play this past week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, that was to be expected as the third-year QB was playing through injury. Herbert suffered a rib cartilage fracture in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Though the injury isn’t the most serious, the pain is very real.
Herbert suited up and played in Week 3 against the Jags in a decision that is just the latest that signals they may not be taking the health of their face of the franchise as seriously as may be needed. The Chargers have a generational talent, and until they start treating the situation as such, they’re on track to shortening his career.
Team Medical Staff
In 2020 then, Chargers starting QB Tyrod Taylor got a punctured lung when getting a pain-relieving shot for a rib injury from a team doctor. Tyrod Taylor is now suing the doctor, who, here’s the kicker, the doctor who will presumably be overseeing Herbert’s recovery. The story writes itself here. Why are you tempting fate if you’re the Chargers? And why are you with a doctor that a former player is suing for medical malpractice?
Before the game against the Jags, it was reported they used an ultrasound to help give the pain killer to Herbert, but notice that this is the only organization in the NFL that even has to reassure the public that they’re not going to injure their players, and the fact that they are even having to be in that position to me shows a lack of understanding of the gravity of the situation. Don’t keep around a doctor that is has a recent history of injuring your team and is being sued for medical malpractice!
Don’t Let Him Play!
I was personally appalled by the fact that Brandon Staley and the Chargers coaching staff allowed Justin to play. The excuses are flying, saying that Justin wanted to finish the game out and that he felt good. Of course, he did! He’s a young QB in the NFL that’s he get’s paid to play. Staley needs to realize that he gets paid to coach, and he needs the forethought to know what’s best for his young QB.
Herbert is never going to tell you he can’t play. It’s the mentality that you have to have to be an NFL player. But the fact that Staley continued to let his generational talent just get beat up over and over again in a blowout loss just shows a lack of maturity by everyone in the building. Players’ health needs to be bigger than winning an individual game, and if the Chargers keep going down this destructive road, they might do serious damage to Herbert’s health and career.
Chase Daniels is a serviceable backup who can give you a fighting chance, especially against a Houston team that looks underwhelming this year. The Chargers need to give Justin time to rest and fully heal both the 2022 season and Herbert’s career is young. There is no need to jeopardize either.