Thursday was a bad day for the Los Angeles Chargers as they blew a 10-point second-half lead and lost to their old AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs 27-24.
But it got even worse, as superstar quarterback Justin Herbert hurt his ribs late in the fourth quarter and appeared to be in serious pain the rest of the contest.
He added damage to the insult by throwing a game-changing interception near the Chiefs’ end zone that was returned for a touchdown early in the final frame.
Immediately, concern shifted from Herbert’s loss and mistake to his future health.
The next day, he was diagnosed with a rib cartilage fracture and will be seen on a day-to-day basis.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was diagnosed with a fractured rib cartilage today, Brandon Staley told reporters. The team will assess where he is on Wednesday to determine if he can practice.
—Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 16, 2022
“We’ll find out a lot more about practice and things like that on Wednesday,” Staley said. “I’m going to take the weekend and start Monday, Tuesday to learn a lot more.”
It could have been a lot worse, and the good thing is that Los Angeles played on a Thursday, it will have three extra days to rest Herbert and try to get it right for Week 3.
Herbert played well, but…
During the first three quarters, Herbert had his usual fantastic game.
He finished the game with 334 yards on 33-of-48 passing attempts, along with three touchdown passes.
Herbert seemed very adept at getting passes to his receivers inside a narrow window while placing the ball precisely in the best place they could get their hands on it.
This pitch from Justin Herbert makes no sense if you’re watching this game and you know what’s going on right now. pic.twitter.com/7x8PMRYKxb
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 16, 2022
— The QB School (@theqbschool) September 16, 2022
Once he suffered his injury, he had a lot of trouble moving, but still managed to be very productive on his team’s final possession.
Justin Herbert’s last push after suffering a rib cartilage fracture:
73 passing yards
Led 9 plays, 73-yard TD (9 passing plays, 0 rushing plays). pic.twitter.com/mI221WSv6X
— Pinhead Sports® (@_PinheadSports) September 16, 2022
With Los Angeles trailing 27-17, he converted a touchdown pass to Joshua Palmer on fourth-and-seven to keep the team in contention.
However, there was only 1:11 left and his onside kick attempt failed, sealing victory for Kansas City.
In doing so, they showed they’re still the best team in the division, but there’s reason to be encouraged by the Chargers.
For one thing, Herbert didn’t have a bad game to watch; in fact, he had a pretty good game overall, aside from that unlucky pick-six.
If it hadn’t been for that pick-six, the Chargers would have had a good chance to win, and the discussion surrounding him and his team would be a lot different right now.
On the other hand, LA wasn’t exactly at full strength.
The Chargers fought hard without their WR1
Keenan Allen, the Bolts’ top wide receiver, was sidelined Thursday with an injury sustained in their Week 1 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
Allen has made the Pro Bowl in each of the past five seasons, and not making it certainly crippled the team.
It’s not an excuse for loss, but it’s something to keep in mind moving forward.
In Allen’s absence, Mike Williams, who was quiet in Week 1, had 113 yards and eight receptions, while tight end Gerald Everett had six catches for 71 yards.
The Chargers’ schedule will be easier for a while as they host the Jacksonville Jaguars next week.
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