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Justin Herbert impresses in NFL debut, but Tyrod Taylor still Chargers’ starter if healthy

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It was after the coin toss, a few minutes before the opening kickoff, when Anthony Lynn was hit with the news he could not possibly anticipate.

Tyrod Taylor, the Los Angeles Chargers’ starting quarterback, was experiencing chest pain that necessitated a trip to the hospital, meaning Justin Herbert, the 22-year-old who was drafted sixth overall only five months earlier, would be pressed into action against the defending Super Bowl champions.

“I think he thought I was joking,” Lynn, the Chargers’ fourth-year coach, said. “I had to tell him a couple times, ‘No, seriously, you’re the starting quarterback.’ Once he realized he was the guy, he was fine.”

Herbert — possibly helped by having no time to think about the most important game of his life — impressed in his surprising NFL debut, throwing for 311 yards and accounting for two touchdowns in his team’s first game at SoFi Stadium. But he could only watch, with his helmet off and his hands on his hips, as Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker delivered an improbable 58-yard field goal to hand the Chargers a crushing 23-20 loss in overtime on Sunday.

Lynn said he was impressed by Herbert — but apparently not enough to consider a change at quarterback just yet.

“I’m gonna wait and see what type of health Tyrod is in,” Lynn said. “He was our starter for a reason, and if he’s 100 percent, ready to go, he’s our starter. But I know that Justin can pick up the slack if he can’t.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Hours after the game, the Chargers announced that Taylor “experienced difficulty breathing,” was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation and, as of 8:20 p.m. PT, had been discharged.6

Taylor is considered week-to-week with the chest injury that prevented him from playing Sunday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.

Herbert joined Andrew Luck (2012) and Cam Newton (2011) as the only top-10 quarterbacks to throw for more than 300 yards in their first start and still lose since 2001. And he joined a man named Bobby Clatterbuck (1954) as the only players to accumulate a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown in the first half of their NFL debuts. At one point, Herbert led a 10-minute, 21-second drive that stood as the Chargers’ longest in four years. And before that, in the game’s first possession, he scored on a 4-yard scramble, snapping a Chargers streak of 137 consecutive regular-season games without a rushing touchdown from their quarterback.cheap nike nfl jersey

But it was one mistake and one missed opportunity that spoiled Herbert’s debut.

The mistake came in the final seconds of the third quarter, when Herbert scrambled to his left, ignored several yards of open space in front of him and instead threw deep to wide receiver Keenan Allen, across his body and into double coverage, getting picked off by Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.

“It would’ve been great had I just took off and run and got what I could have,” Herbert said. “Unfortunately, I threw it and it was a big turnover, and we can’t turn the ball over to a team like that and expect to get away with it.”

The Chiefs proceeded to tie the game on a miraculous 54-yard connection between Mahomes and Tyreek Hill on which Mahomes unleashed a pinpoint deep ball while rolling right and throwing off one foot. But Herbert came back to lead the Chargers up the field, then faked a pitch and picked up 11 yards on the ground to make it first-and-goal from the Chiefs’ 4-yard line — setting up the missed opportunity.

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