Friday's NFL: Chargers' Justin Herbert day-to-day with fractured rib cartilage

By Joe Reedy
Associated Press

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has fractured rib cartilage after taking a hit during the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Coach Brandon Staley said a CT scan Friday morning confirmed the injury. Staley said the third-year quarterback is day-to-day and that his status will be evaluated again on Monday. The Chargers (1-1) don’t return to the practice field until Wednesday, when they will begin preparing to host Jacksonville on Sept. 25.

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert suffered a rib injury in Thursday's loss to the Chiefs.

“I think we got good news in terms of what the CT scan showed. You don’t want it to be a fracture of the bone. So the fact that it’s cartilage was a good sign,” Staley said. “It’s going to come down to comfort. Let the weekend calm down and then when we get into game week we’ll have a better sense of how he’s feeling.”

Herbert completed 33 of 48 passes for 334 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He missed only one play after taking a hard hit from Kansas City defensive lineman Michael Danna on 12-yard completion to Gerald Everett with five minutes to go.

Herbert was 7 of 11 for 79 yards after the injury, despite one play where he was in physical distress and threw the ball away on third-and-1 when he could have run for a first down. That stretch included a fourth-down bullet to DeAndre Carter for 35 yards to the Kansas City 8-yard line and then connecting with Joshua Palmer on fourth-and-goal for a 7-yard TD.

“Nobody cares about Justin more than I do. It’s a tough game, and as long as he feels like he can go in that moment, then that’s what we’re gonna roll with,” Staley said. “I think he did a good job of protecting himself. I think what you saw is that he’s a really smart player. He’s not gonna put himself at risk in that moment, not going to take one more extra hit than he needs to.”

Chase Daniel would be in line to start if Herbert could not go. The 13-year veteran has six career starts, most recently in 2019 for the Chicago Bears.

Personnel dept.

The Dolphins placed starting right tackle Austin Jackson on short-term injured reserve after he hurt his right ankle against the Patriots.

Jackson will miss at least four games, including Sunday’s matchup at Baltimore.

Greg Little is expected to start in Jackson’s place. Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said the team is confident in Little, who he added has “made the most of all of his reps.”

Left tackle Terron Armstead (toe) remained limited in Friday’s practice and is questionable for the game. McDaniel said his questionable status could go all the way to game time Sunday, depending on how Armstead feels.

… Patriots quarterback Mac Jones returned to practice a day after sitting out with an illness, putting him on track to start New England’s game with Pittsburgh.

He was a full participant for Wednesday’s practice after suffering a back injury during the Patriots’ season-opening loss at Miami. His absence on Thursday marked the first time he had missed a regular-season practice.

Jones hasn’t missed a regular-season start since being drafted No. 15 overall in 2021.