Brandon Staley: Justin Herbert wanted to be out there with his teammates

Jacksonville Jaguars v Los Angeles Chargers
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The Jaguars blew out the Chargers in Los Angeles on Sunday, taking a 29-10 lead through three quarters and a 38-10 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

But quarterback Justin Herbert — who’s dealing with fractured rib cartilage — was still in the game throwing passes and taking hits through the final play.


“That’s a good question. He wanted to be out there with his teammates,” head coach Brandon Staley said after the game. “He felt good and he wanted to finish the game. He wanted to give our group some energy. And we were going to protect him there at the end with really sound protection — as best we could. But it was more about him wanting to finish with his guys.”

As a follow up, Staley was asked if there was a point that he should step in as the head coach and take out his franchise quarterback given that he already has a significant injury.

“For sure, yeah. Believe me, throughout the entire game,” Staley said. “That’s the first thought throughout the game and at the end of the game. And so, trust me, there’s no one that’s thinking about it more than I am.”

For his part, Herbert said he felt fine on the field and didn’t want to disappoint his teammates.

“I didn’t want to go out and I felt like we were getting the ball out quick,” Herbert said in his press conference. “It’s what the team needs and sometimes you have to put your goals and everything behind the team. I think that’s what’s most important.

“I felt like I was safe out there and I didn’t want to quit on my team.”

Staley said there was discussion with Herbert on the sideline about coming out, but the quarterback was adamant that he wanted to stay in.

“That was just the decision that we made,” Staley said. “It was about us finishing that game as a team and it was important to us that we did it.”

Staley faced several questions about leaving Herbert in the game and mainly came back to the same refrain. But he did note that Herbert’s ribs issue isn’t going away anytime soon.

“I understand your entire line of questioning — I understand it. Justin’s going to be feeling like this when he’s out there playing. This injury is going to be there for a while. If you guys know the injury, it’s not like it’s going to feel better next week or the week after that. This thing is going to be present for a while. He felt good today. And we’re going to continue to manage it.”

Staley added there likely is a point that he would pull Herbert from a game. But that point clearly was not on Sunday.

21 responses to “Brandon Staley: Justin Herbert wanted to be out there with his teammates

  1. This is going to end badly. Herbert will never remove himself from a game so it’s up to the HC to protect his franchise QB.

  2. Sometimes you have to protect a guy from himself. Staley obviously didn’t do that with Herbert,and he should have.

  3. Easy to rip Staley for putting Herbert at risk in a blowout, but if Herbert insists on playing, I’ll let him play. Herbert knows better than anybody how he feels. Herbert’s the leader on this team. Staying out there when the going gets tough gets is part of leadership.

  4. Dumb decisions all around. These guys are terrified of being labeled as soft (fans drive this fear as much as any one), when they should be concerned with being ineffective. Playing hurt is macho and all that, but Chase Daniel is likely making more than 55% of his passes today and would have put the team in a better position to win or at least not been blown out. He put his need to be known as a “hard man” above his teams goal of winning.

  5. One more hard shot to those ribs and Herbert will have no choice in the matter. He will be out,and the Chargers will be out of luck.

  6. Lets send your star QB, The Player that is getting fans in Los Angels to start to pay attention to the Chargers, some what. Lets risk Herbert getting hurt so he can play with his friends. Come On Coach

  7. “Staley added there likely is a point that he would pull Herbert from a game. But that point clearly was not on Sunday.”

    If not when you’re down 28 midway through the 4th quarter, then when?

  8. Herbert should have been rested, the Chargers are a good enough team to win games without him. If he had taken a knockout blow to the ribs his season could have been over.

  9. It really maybe time for a new HC when he WONT make the tough HC decisions and let’s the players make the tough calls.

  10. As a head coach and final authority of his team a good coach needs to protect his players safety above all else, even if he has to protect them from themselves. Especially your franchise QB. Although I admire Herbert’s desire to win and his competitive nature He should’ve been more aware that it’ a marathon not a sprint

  11. It kinds of remeinds me of last year when Baker Mayfield said he makes the decision to play, and then went out there and played poorly week after week. Where was Kevin Stefanski? NFL head coaches have to make tough decisions and sometimes you have to sit the starter when warranted.

  12. I like the chargers but this guy is pissing me off. Seems like he’s missing something to take him over as a competent HC. It’s one thing to lose but how tf you get blown out by Jacksonville?!?!

  13. The new Todd Haley has an answer for everything. He is going to “coach” himself right out of a job.

  14. I’m assuming he won’t come out until the roles are reversed and they are up 28 midway in the 4th. He could barely rub in the Chiefs game and they kept him in. They kept him in while they were getting blown out. Again just assuming here, they obviously feel a broken Herbert still gives them the best chance to win. They won’t take him out unless they’re winning and comfortable

  15. Yeah, let the players decide if they play injured or not. That’s great coaching and a wonderful lesson in professional liability. What is going on in San Diego? The medical staff could have literally killed Tyrod Taylor and now the coach is apparently hell bent on ruining Justin Herbert’s career.

  16. ghostofhenrystram says:
    “September 26, 2022 at 8:45 am
    The new Todd Haley has an answer for everything. He is going to “coach” himself right out of a job.”


    Given that he is coaching the Chargers, I don’t see the Chargers making a coaching change anytime soon. The Chargers seem to always take too long to move on from a coach. I still think they should be calling Sean Payton this morning, while the team still has a QB that can walk on two legs.

  17. I couldn’t believe Staley let him play after the initial hit the week before. I was concerned for the guy–and I’m a Chiefs’ fan. He has no business playing. He deserves a strong head coach that can make put the welfare of the player above the game.

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