COSTA MESA, CA – Quarterback Justin Herbert is among the many starters for the Los Angeles Chargers whose availability in their Week 3 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars wasn’t a sure thing.
Herbert, who was removed eight days after suffering a meniscus fracture, did not train on Friday and is listed as questionable in Sunday’s game.
“It’s day in and day out, just waiting to see how he feels,” said Chargers coach Brandon Staley. “We’ll keep going through the rest of this week and see how it goes.”
Speaking to reporters for the first time since sustaining the injury in a 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Herbert said his ribs “feel good.”
“There have definitely been improvements,” Herbert said. “I think the most important thing is to get ready for Sunday and do your best, whatever that takes.”
If Herbert can’t play, veteran reserve Chase Daniel will start.
Receiver Kenan Allen, who was inactive in week two with a hamstring injury, tight end Donald Parham Jr., who is also dealing with a hamstring problem, and a correct tackle from Trey Pepkins III, with a foot injury, are all questionable.
Staley said Allen, after not training on Friday, was “50-50” for the match.
“We wanted to make sure we give him a day off and then see how he’s going for the next 48 hours,” Staley said.
The center of Corey Linsley, who is dealing with a knee problem, and JC Jackson, who hasn’t trained all week after playing in the second week on an ankle that underwent surgery last month, are questionable.
“We really wanted to use this week as a rest week for him to get out of the game,” Staley said of Jackson. “We just want to make sure, in the long run, that this guy is OK. As you guys saw him there, there was no relapse, per se.”
Hibbert participated in practices in a limited capacity earlier in the week. On Thursday, he appeared to be working his way through routine pass drills when rehearsals were open to reporters.
“He did what he normally does because we wanted to make sure we saw him do the throws he had to do in the game,” Staley said. “He looked good. He’s strong. He doesn’t feel comfortable in any way, but he was able to get out there and throw a soccer ball.”
“I felt good,” Herbert said.
Herbert said it would be normal to wear a rib guard in a match and did not express concern that it would affect his throwing ability if any extra protection was added on Sunday.
“This is an area in the middle that doesn’t usually tend to have much effect on throwing motion,” Herbert said. “Whatever you add or whatever you take off, I think it’s a normal move for a midfielder.”
Herbert took the Chargers starting position under unusual circumstances as a rookie in 2020, when it was determined just minutes before kick-off in week two that Tyrod Taylor was unable to play after sustaining a perforated lung while the team doctor, who is also looking after Herbert now, try giving a painkiller injection to help his cracked back ribs.
This doctor is currently being sued for medical malpractice by Taylor, who is seeking at least $5 million, according to the original lawsuit transcripts and subsequent files relating to the case obtained by ESPN.
When asked on Friday about delving into potential treatment options and how much awareness he had left in his mind about Taylor’s conditions, Herbert said “every situation is different.”
“You have to take a look at what’s best for you,” Herbert said. “I will definitely do everything I can to get ready and get ready to play on Sunday. At the same time, it’s important that I rest, relax, and get everything right.”
Herbert, the third-year professional, hasn’t missed a head start since taking over from Taylor.
The Chargers are 1-1, and Herbert has passed for 613 yards and six touchdowns with an interception.