Mere moments before the Chargers made their SoFi Stadium debut against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, the team plugged in No. 6 draft pick and rookie quarterback Justin Herbert as the starter over incumbent Tyrod Taylor.
Rumors swirled rampant as the gunslinger from Oregon led the Bolts to two touchdown drives and fueled a 14-6 Chargers lead into the third quarter, but they eventually lost 23-20 in overtime.
Taylor reportedly suffered a chest injury during warm-ups. Sure and the UFOs was responsible for the bullet that killed John F. Kennedy.
“I found out right after the coin toss to be honest with you and so [QB Justin Herbert], he had to go in and play and it might have been good that he had to go in and play, I had been thinking about it all night. [Tyrod’s injury] was something that developed late and kind of caught us all off guard, but it is what is,” said head coach Anthony Lynn. “I don’t know right now, as soon as I leave here – he was at the hospital, I don’t know if he is still at the hospital or not, but I am going to find out.
I don’t [have an idea on what caused the injury]. I am telling you I didn’t find out anything until right after the coin toss. ”
I do not doubt that all of that is true, but it turns out to be a blessing in disguise.
Laughably Lynn referred to Herbert as his back after a brilliant performance against the world champs.
“He is our backup quarterback so whatever we put in for Tyrod, we felt he could do the same thing. He understood, but he didn’t get the same reps that Tyrod got, especially down in the red zone. So, some of those play calls got a little bit tricky down there with him, but it’s all part of the experience there for him. I thought he handled it well, to be honest with you. A couple of throws I know he would like to have back but that’s just the way it was. I thought he handled the situation well, but we lost the game last time I checked, so those grades are not too high right now.”
Regardless of whether Taylor suffered an injury during warm-up or perhaps in practice, his lackluster performance during week one in Cincinnati did not boost any confidence in his ability to win games with this team.
He has never possessed the tools that would make him a game changer, instead more of player that will not lose a game for you, but probably can’t win one for you either.
The dilemma that coach Lynn had was to sit Herbert for the season and allow for his NFL adjustment or to simply play him and be willing to live with the growing pains.
With a team moving into a new stadium during COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor’s nod relieved any pressure on Herbert to replace the legendary Philip Rivers although retrospectively that is precisely why he was drafted.
Herbert replaced Taylor instead, a name that few barely knew and most care to forget.
No one remembers Taylor in Cleveland, except that he played too many games in front of Baker Mayfield. It was an injury that led to the transition in Clevelandand it will be just a matter of time before Herbert takes over the helm. His debut at home in an empty stadium against the best team in the league served ample notice that he can handle it.
Taylor’s one-year salary is $5 million, while Herbert is fully guaranteed $26 million over four seasons.
Which car do you drive the used Dodge Datsun or the fresh Mercedes Benz?
One could have only hoped better for Taylor and perhaps he does start another game this season for the Chargers.
“If Tyrod is 100 percent, he’s our quarterback,” Lynn said.
The reality is he’s good guy to have in your locker room. He is real high character man that you can always rely on.
And you can also bet on him getting hurt, whether he right now or not, he is more likely to get injured than he is to help advance your team to any meaningful victories throughout the season.
As for next week when the Chargers host the Carolina Panthers?
“I am going to wait and check on my starting Quarterback right now and see how he is doing.”
AL righty coach!