Things were not looking good on the Justin Herbert injury news front on Sunday but at the end of the day, the Chargers quarterback proved that he is an alien that will not let fractured rib cartilage slow him down.
Justin Herbert was announced as active in the game and shortly after that, it was reported that the third-year quarterback would start against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was considered a game-day decision all week and it was about as close to game time as it could be.
The work is not done for Herbert and the Chargers, though. It is Brandon Staley and the medical team's responsibility to make sure that Herbert is protected and that he does not stay in the game if he takes any big hits that might aggravate the injury.
What to expect from Justin Herbert and the Chargers in Week 3:
Just because Herbert is starting does not mean that the Chargers are going to be their usual selves. Knowing that the Bolts have the talent advantage with their defense, Staley and Joe Lombardi are likely going to be very conservative in this game.
Expect a lot of running plays from the Bolts as well as passes that are designed to get the ball out quickly. Do not expect many deep shots or play-action rollouts in this game. It is going to look more like a traditional three-step drop offense. This is all to protect Herbert.
With this in mind, I would expect a low-scoring dogfight. The Chargers' M-O is going to be to eat clock , not put their quarterback in any dangerous situations and let him make the big conversions when he needs to. Then, the team can lean on the defense to shut Jacksonville down.
This is not a game where the Chargers want to get into an offensive shootout. If that happens then Herbert is going to be put in more danger, which is the last thing that anyone wants.
The perfect situation for the Chargers would be taking a three-possession lead in the first half. That could happen if the Chargers' offense scores two touchdowns and the defensive side of the ball helps out as well. If that happens, the Chargers can comfortably put Chase Daniel in the second half and simply ask him to kill clock, leaning on the defense to win the game.
More realistically, this will be a low-scoring dogfight that looks very similar to the Week 1 game against Washington last season. As far as a score prediction goes, I would guess 23-14, Chargers.