Justin Herbert’s NFL debut last Sunday was a surprise to everyone—even him. The Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback learned that he’d get the start against the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs just moments before kickoff, due to a mysterious injury to starter Tyrod Taylor.
Taylor is dealing with a chest issue, which popped up right before Sunday’s game. According to Ian Rapoport, the issue stems from an injection he received pregame, to alleviate pain from a rib injury. Unfortunately, it cost him the game, and potentially, his starting job.
For a guy in his first start against Patrick Mahomes and an uber-talented Chiefs team, Herbert looked excellent. He completed 22-of-33 throws for 311 yards and a touchdown, and added a second score on the ground. The team fell just short of the huge upset, falling 23-20 in overtime.
Taylor’s status is still up in the air. Head coach Anthony Lynn insists that he remains the starter when he’s healthy, but it is looking more likely that Herbert gets the nod once again as Taylor recovers. If he puts in another big performance, it is going to be very hard to take the job away from the first-round pick.
From @GMFB: The #Chargers QB situation should come into focus this week, as it would be a quick recovery for Tyrod Taylor to return for Week 3. Could be another week of Justin Herbert. pic.twitter.com/bInQiikOZK
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 23, 2020
“If Tyrod Taylor is 100-percent, he is going to be the starting quarterback. Anthony Lynn has said over and over, he is adamant about it,” Rapoport said on Good Morning Football this morning. “However, that doesn’t mean Tyrod Taylor is going to be the starter this week. Just based on what I understand, the fallout from his injection and everything that resulted. You’re seeing it now, he’s going through some chest pains… he went to a hospital, was released from the hospital.”
“For him to be 100-percent this Sunday is theoretically possible, but certainly does not seem likely based on what I know about the situation. That means we very well may see Justin Herbert again. He played really well last week with about two-and-a-half minutes of notice. If he has a whole week to prepare and get ready, and if he plays well again, maybe it will be a harder decision for Anthony Lynn going forward. Either way, that’s going to play out this week.”
That would be a tough draw for Taylor, who was a successful starter with the Buffalo Bills, but was supplanted by Baker Mayfield with the Cleveland Browns just a few weeks into the 2018 season, and now may have the same thing happen with the Chargers, even when the team appeared set to give him the full year as a starter.
If Herbert goes out and impresses against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday though, it is hard to justify sticking him back on the bench.
The Los Angeles Chargers host Carolina at 4:05 p.m. ET on Sunday.