Justin Herbert broke various NFL records in his first two years with the LA Chargers but took a slight step back in his third season under center. While he made the playoffs for the first time, Herbert's numbers (and the offense) took a dip in the process.
Herbert suffered fractured rib cartilage in Week 2 and had to deal with various injuries to his pass-catchers. Combine that with underwhelming play-calling from now-fired Joe Lombardi and it seemed like Herbert had every excuse in the book to have a down (but still good) season.
Well, on Sunday another explanation for Herbert's down season surfaced as the Chargers announced that the star quarterback had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left surgery. This should not impact him moving forward as he should be cleared by the spring.
Chargers' Justin Herbert played through a torn labrum to end the 2022 season.
For those that remember, Justin Herbert was added to the injury report ahead of Week 18 with a left shoulder injury. Herbert did not miss any time and when it happened Brandon Staley and co. downplayed the significance of him being on the injured list.
It is clear now that he was added to the injured list for a serious reason that may have hindered his performance in the Wild Card Round. While Herbert was not the main reason why the Chargers lost that game, he did miss a wide-open Keenan Allen in the endzone and didn't take over the game when the Bolts needed it.
It is more impressive that Herbert dragged the Chargers to the fifth seed in the AFC despite all of the problems that the team had to endure throughout the season. Injuries spread through the locker room like crazy and Herbert had to deal with two substantial injuries himself.
This also may explain why the Chargers did not utilize Herbert's athleticism more than they did. The team had a masterclass of moving the pocket and maximizing Justin Herbert's arm talent in the primetime game against the Miami Dolphins.
But the team then refused to do that later in the season and the offense paid as a result. While the organization was still disappointed by Lombardi's play-calling, this could explain at least some of the mind-boggling decisions that were made.
With a new offensive coordinator and a clean bill of health in 2023, Justin Herbert should be able to explode and re-insert himself as one of the main favorites to win the MVP award.