Justin Herbert ‘showed us a lot of guts’ battling through rib injury in Chargers’ loss

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According to official NFL statistics, he was sacked twice and hit at least six times.

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One of the hits, Thursday night with about five minutes left, left Justin Herbert in significant discomfort and clutching his midsection.

The rest of the Chargers – and all their fans – were doing figuratively the same thing.

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The Pro Bowl quarterback missed only one play and came back for last-gasp, resulting in a late touchdown but an unsuccessful comeback as the Chargers suffered a 27-24 loss to Kansas City.

Chargers coach Brandon Staley said, “You won’t see a quarterback tougher at any level of football and do more for his team and whether his team gives him a chance.” “Nobody can do what he can. No one can.”

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According to the Chargers, Herbert suffered a rib injury, and a preliminary test took place at Arrowhead Stadium. The team had no updates on when it departed for the return trip to Southern California.

After 27–17, Herbert led the Chargers towards touchdown with a 1:11, while Gingerly kept his left hand in position to move forward and protect his ribs. He left the field at the conclusion of the game in obvious pain.

“He showed us a lot of courage,” Staley said. “He showed us what he does every day, that we are never out of a fight. He brought us back and gave us a chance.”

Herbert converted two quarter-downs on that final scoring drive, which included a touchdown, a seven-yard connection with Joshua Palmer.

But when the Chargers failed to recover the onside kick, the game was over.

Staley was asked directly if he was concerned about Herbert’s health going forward.

“No,” he said. “No, because that’s Justin Herbert.”

Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) caught a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs. He finished with eight catches and one touchdown for 113 yards.
(Peter Aiken / The Associated Press)

Herbert’s defending issues escalated after the Chargers lost Pro Bowl center Corey Linsley for the second half to a knee injury. Trey Pipkins III started a right tackle and then was ruled out in the third quarter with an ankle problem.

The Chargers led in the first three quarters against the Chiefs, drawing 17-7 at halftime.

Kansas City also pulled 17-17 on a field goal to start the fourth quarter, when Herbert’s pass was intercepted at Kansas City’s one-yard line and rookie Jaylen Watson made it 99 yards for a touchdown. The game was quite sloppy.

The mistake came when the Chargers scored another goal in Kansas City. Moving at high speed, Herbert fired in the direction of Gerald Everett’s tight end near the goal line, but Watson took the catch.

Everett had caught the pass on the last two plays—the other at 26 yards—and was asking to come out of the game. He was unable to leave the field as the Chargers went at a high speed.

Later, Everett revealed he was dealing with a sore ankle that was left over from the Chargers’ season-opening win over Las Vegas on Sunday. He said that he wanted out but remained in view of the Chargers’ strategy.

“What happened there was unfortunate,” Staley said. “It was unfortunate. We thought we could keep the momentum going. It didn’t work out.”

The Chargers had other chances that went to dust. Three clear obstructions were canceled. One was overturned by a penalty, another by making a penalty, and the third by video review.

Asante Samuel Jr. looked to secure a Patrick Mahomes pass in the third quarter, but the replay official decided otherwise.

Staley said that despite “an obvious offensive pass interference, at least” one of the barriers was cleared. In the second quarter game, Chargers cornerback Bryce Callahan was actually called out for illegal contact.

Nasser Ederle intercepted the ball, but Kansas City held on.

“This is as hard as it gets because we are in the right coverage,” Staley said. “We were totally defensive.”

The night began on a promising note for the Chargers when Pro Bowl cornerback Jesse Jackson was deemed fit to make his debut for the team.

Jackson missed the opener while recovering from an August 23 surgical procedure on his right ankle.

He worked out on the field before the game for about 15 minutes before going back to the locker room. A short time later, the Chargers announced that Jackson would be active.

After spending four seasons with New England, Jackson signed a five-year contract worth up to $82.5 million in March with a fully guaranteed $40 million. His 25 interceptions are the most in the league since 2018.

Jackson starts with Samuel in the second outside corner.

But Jackson was defeated in the middle of the third quarter when Mahomes threw Justin Watson from 41 yards for a touchdown.

Herbert finished 33 of 48 for 334 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception. Mike Williams caught eight passes and one score for 113 yards.

In the end, Herbert and the Chargers were left hurting in more ways than one.

“It was just a tough NFL game, and he took some big hits,” Staley said. “None of those big hits had any effect on him like he always brings back his team.”

Los Angeles Rams quarterback John Wolford, left, Matthew Stafford (9) and Bryce Perkins, right, attend practice at the NFL football team's practice facility on Monday, May 23, 2022 in Thousand Oaks, Calif.  (AP photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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