The biggest nightmare imaginable for LA Chargers fans happened last Thursday as Justin Herbert went down gripping his left side with an apparent rib injury. Luckily, Herbert toughed it out with an amazing performance and was eventually diagnosed with fractured rib cartilage.
Based on the nature of these injuries and the fact that Herbert had three extra days of straight rest, it always seemed unlikely that he would miss time. That being said, these injuries can be extremely painful and we very well could have seen a Justin Herbert that was 80% of his normal self.
Well during drills on Thursday Herbert seemed to look like his normal self. Herbert threw behind closed doors on Tuesday, did not throw Wednesday, and then went through his normal throwing routine on Thursday for reporters in attendance. Based on the footage, you wouldn't think Herbert was dealing with a painful rib injury.
The only thing worth pointing out is the fact that Herbert seems to be keeping his left arm (he injured his left side) closer to his body, likely to avoid overextending the area. Again, this is just practice, though, so there isn't any reason to hyper-overanalyze how much he is extending the left side of his upper body.
Of course, everything is different when there are 250-pound super-athletes running at you looking to deliver a nasty hit in the pocket.
The LA Chargers still need to be cautious with Justin Herbert's injury in Week 3.
While Herbert looks great in these videos, the Chargers still need to be cautious and not fully unleash the quarterback in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Chargers are a more talented team and if they can win by six by letting Herbert go 60% that is what they should do. It would be much better to do that rather than trying to win by 20 and letting Herbert go 100%.
The team can accomplish this by leaning more on the running game as well as designing quicker throws for Herbert to make. Fans yearning for the long ball may not like it, but Herbert should be reserved to quick three-step drop throws as often as possible to avoid the chance of pressure.
Jacksonville has a defensive front that will sniff out holes in an offensive line and the Chargers could have a big one with Corey Linsley still not participating in practice. The fewer risks the Chargers can take with Herbert in this game, the better.