Justin Herbert The game time decision was to play on Sunday against Jacksonville Jaguars After rib cartilage fracture in the second week.
then it He lost his blind protection in the third quarter When he left the Pro Bowl Rashawn Slater He left the match with a biceps injury. So why – when his Los Angeles Chargers Hopelessly retreated in a loss of 38-10 Was the franchise quarterback still on the field late in the game?
It’s a question that arose in the fourth quarter as Herbert continued playing while Jaguar took the lead with a score of 31-10 and 38-10. Head coach Brandon Staley explained the decision when asked about it in his post-match press conference. Leave the decision to Herbert.
“He wanted to be there with his mates,” Staley said. “He was satisfied and wanted to finish the match. He wanted to give our group some energy.
“And we were going to protect him there at the end with really good protection – as best we could. But it was about his desire to end his relationship with his buddies.”
Once again, the charger was playing with the spare left handling Storm Norton, who almost immediately allowed Herbert pressure to enter the game and finished off with a pair of penalties. The protection was only going to be “sound”. Also, it’s a coach’s job to make precisely this kind of decision because NFL quarterbacks generally tend to throw it out despite the risks—particularly of Herbert’s caliber.
Let Herbert explain.
“I just didn’t want to pull out of the team,” Herbert said. “Obviously it was a tough day for us. But I didn’t want to go out. I felt like we were getting the ball quickly. I didn’t want to quit my team.
“Sometimes you have to put your goals behind the team, and I think that’s the most important. I felt like I was safe there. And I didn’t want to quit on my team.”
He added that he would not have started on Sunday had he not been assured by the team’s medical staff that he would be safe.
From a risk-reward perspective, the call was simple. Take Herbert out of the game. The upside to keeping him in the game was to reduce the two-digit deficit to a smaller two-digit deficit. The downside was the constant physical punishment of a full-back who had already injured the franchise and didn’t have the best player on the field.
“That was just a decision we made,” Staley asked when pressed about the decision. “It was about finishing the game as a team. It was important for us that we did it.”
Fortunately for Herbert and the Chargers, no further damage was done. Herbert finished the match by taking only one sack. The score does not mean Staley made the right call.
One of the brightest young coaching stars in the game, Staley has made his reputation by making unconventional, but often right – according to analysis – decisions in high-powered situations. Sunday’s call to keep Herbert in the game wasn’t one of those decisions.
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