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Coach Staley Provides Update on Justin Herbert


The Chargers are 1-1 following a loss on Thursday Night Football.

Here are five takeaways from Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley on Friday:

1. An update on Justin Herbert

Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley provided an update on quarterback Justin Herbert on Friday afternoon.

"Justin has a fracture to his rib cartilage," Staley said. "It's good news, better than having a fracture of your bone in the ribs, but the CT scan did confirm that. He's day-to-day.

"I think that we'll know a lot more about practice and stuff like that on Wednesday," Staley added. "Going to take the weekend, certainly, and the beginning of next week — Monday, Tuesday — to learn a lot more, but day-to-day."

Herbert was injured in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's loss in Kansas City. He was hit and left the game for one play before returning and finishing the game.

As far as Herbert playing in Week 3 against Jacksonville, Staley said more would be known in the coming days.

Herbert threw for 334 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in the loss, compiling a passer rating of 100.5.

It was the seventh time in Herbert's career that he has thrown for 300-plus yards with at least three touchdowns and a quarterback rating over 100.

2. Chargers rue handful of missed plays

Staley said Friday that the Bolts Week 2 loss was determined by a handful of missed opportunities.

The Chargers led by 10 points at two different times in the game, but ultimately couldn't hold on against the Chiefs.

The Bolts also tallied more offensive yards, had more first downs, committed fewer penalties and won time of possession at Arrowhead Stadium.

But the end result was a tough 27-24 loss to a division rival.

"After the game, I told the team, I told you guys, that I love the way that we competed in the game," Staley said. "I felt like we showed the type of competitiveness and the type of togetherness that you need in an environment like that. At the same time, we didn't make the winning plays that can close that game out.

"There were just a handful of plays that we're capable of making where you get close that game out," Stakley continued. "To play the way we did, particularly in the fourth quarter, I really love the way that we competed.

"I think that our takeaway is that we just need to keep improving. We need to keep improving, keep working at it," Staley added. "At the beginning of the season, you're still in that discovery phase. We just need to keep working at it as a group, keep improving. That's where our focus is going to be moving forward."

Just as he did Thursday night, Staley reiterated that his defense played well against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense.

"Excellent job. [Mahomes] is as tough as it gets," Staley said. "I thought our guys really competed and gave us a chance in the game. I love the way that we defended in that football game.

"I thought our execution, outside of a couple of plays — I'm talking about a couple of plays — our execution was really good," Staley added. "And then our physicality and toughness was where I expect it to be. I thought that we really defended at a high, high level last night."

Take a look back at the Chargers first road trip of the 2022 season, to take on the Chiefs in prime time, in monochrome

3. Jackson makes season debut

Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson made his Chargers debut in Week 2. He did not play in Week 1 as he recovered from a procedure on his ankle.

Jackson played all 57 snaps on defense, and was one of four total players to do so along with Derwin James, Jr., Asante Samuel, Jr. and Nasir Adderley.

Staley said he was pleased with his Jackson fared in his first action of the season.

"It was great to have him back out there. I felt like his conditioning was good enough. He's a really good athlete, I think he worked really hard to get back, but I thought that he got into a pretty good flow in the game. That's what we were trying to do was get him in rhythm. I thought he competed in the game. He gives us a real element to our defense that is going to really maximize our group. It was great to get him off the ground last night in a big game like that. I really liked the way that he competed in the game."

Staley also noted that the play where Jackson was in coverage on a 41-yard touchdown wasn't the cornerback's fault, even though he was the nearest defender on the play.

"There should be a middle-of-the-field safety. He's playing it exactly how he should," Staley said of Jackson. "There should be a post safety that should be making an interception on that play. The field safety didn't rotate to the post. J.C. Jackson was not beat on that play. He was playing the perfect leverage.

"He should be lag underneath the guy and the middle-of-the-field safety should be making that interception," Staley added. "The ball, probably, wouldn't have even gone there. it probably would get thrown away, but we were in the wrong rotation."

4. Further explanation of 4th downs

Staley's aggressiveness on fourth downs was a hot offseason topic around the league.

Two games into 2022, there's been a bit of a chance in that area, including punting twice on fourth-and-2 inside Kansas City territory on Thursday night.

The Chargers also kicked a short field goal on fourth down on their opening drive, wich Staley on Friday gave further explanation and noted that being on the road played a part in those decisions.

"I felt like, early in the game, what you want to do is be able to take a crowd out of the football game. Early on, that was the thought process; we get a good stop, we have a really productive drive," Staley said. "What you don't want to do is get the crowd back in it, so I wanted to make sure that we got off to a good start and everyone was feeling good about the drive.

"That's really how the beginning of the game started off," Staley added. "That was a big part of our process, taking the crowd out of it."

The Chargers then converted on fourth-and-1 at the Chiefs 18-yard line with Austin Ekeler gaining three yards on the ground. Mike Williams caught a 15-yard touchdown catch on the next play.

"In the second half, on that first drive, it's 10-7, we get the ball and I felt like in that drive, that's the perfect time to be aggressive, where the crowd's out of it because of the way the end of the half went," Staley said "You have the momentum, and that's the perfect time to be aggressive. I thought, with that, we did a nice job of converting, pushing that thing to 17-7.

"For all those factors that you mentioned, two different teams, and, again, where the game is, how our defense was playing in the game, how we were competing in the game, I think that's why we decided to play it that way," Staley added.

The Chargers converted on all four of their fourth-down tries against the Chiefs, including twice on their final offensive possession. Herbert hit DeAndre Carter for a 35-yard pass that set up Joshua Palmer's 7-yard score on fourth down.

Through two games, the Chargers have converted four of five tries on fourth downs.

5. Focused on resting up

It's time for the Bolts to get a break.

The Chargers opened the 2022 season with two games in five days, a tough enough feat that was amplified by the fact that both games took place within the AFC West.

Staley praised his players on Friday for being ready to go on such a condensed start to the season, and added that resting up this weekend will be crucial.

"That stretch is really tough on these guys. No matter when that Thursday [game] comes, it's really tough on these guys," Staley said. "If you just see what these guys have to go through to get ready for an NFL game, let alone when you have to travel, it's a tough one. I thought our guys responded well.

"I thought we took the plane in a good frame of mind, and I thought we took the field last night with a great frame of mind, but rest is going to be big over the weekend, making sure that we're around our families, making sure that we get recharged and that we're ready for Monday to get on to Jacksonville," Staley added. "Rest is such a big part of this profession, regardless of who you are — journalist, coach, player. We're trying to get our guys recovered, and we have to get our minds right for Jacksonville."

The Chargers next practice at Hoag Performance Center on Wednesday before hosting the Jaguars on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.

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