Justin Herbert getting baptism by first-string defense

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The Chargers likely will start the season with quarterback Tyrod Taylor under center. But the team is still doing what it has to do to get rookie Justin Herbert ready.

They’re doing it by having Herbert face the first-string defense, one of the best in the league.

“Last couple days, he’s struggled a little bit,” coach Anthony Lynn said Friday, via Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times. “There’s a lot going on with protections and when you start doing more third downs. There’s more volume in the offense right now. . . . I think this is going to help him take the next step. It’s good for him to be uncomfortable. As long as he’s uncomfortable and we don’t break his spirit, I think that’s an opportunity for great growth.”

With no joint practices or preseason games this year, the Chargers need to find a way to test Herbert. As Lynn noted, however, there’s a balance to strike between preparing Herbert and not overwhelming him.

“He’s out there making plays,” said Taylor, who was the starter in Cleveland two years ago until a minor injury opened the door for Baker Mayfield in Week Three. “There’s still a learning curve, a learning process like [with] every young player in this league. But he’s doing his best. He’s going out there and making plays.”

If Herbert makes too many plays, Taylor once again may have a short stay as the starter. From the organization’s perspective, the sooner Herbert is getting experience in games that count, the better he’ll be.