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Sep 23, 2022 6:15 pm

Justin Herbert’s status iffy as Chargers face Jaguars

Full of determination to right what they got wrong last week, the Los Angeles Chargers will carry with them a cautious approach when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif.

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is listed as questionable to play on Sunday with fractured rib cartilage on his left side. An extra few days to recover will come in handy for Herbert, who was injured in the second half of a 27-24 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 15.

Herbert was limited to easy tosses in practice Wednesday while also doing some rotational work to aid his recovery. He sat out Friday’s practice while Chase Daniel received first-team reps for the Chargers (1-1).

Herbert, 24, was asked if he thought he’d be able to play against the Jaguars.

“That’s a decision that we have a couple days left to make,” Herbert said on Friday. “We don’t play today, and so we play on Sunday. Whatever the plan is, I know our team will be prepared and do everything we can. That decision will be made on Sunday and we haven’t ruled anything out.”

Even after he was injured against the Chiefs, Herbert remained in the game and threw a touchdown pass with 1:11 remaining to get the game close. But the Chiefs recovered the ensuing onside kick and closed out the victory.

Like Herbert, wide receiver Keenan Allen (hamstring) followed up a pair of limited practices by failing to participate in Friday’s session.

Tight end Donald Parham (hamstring) and tackle Trey Pipkins (foot) are also considered questionable to play versus Jacksonville. Parham was limited in Friday’s practice, while Pipkins put forth a full session.

Cornerback J.C. Jackson (ankle) and center Corey Linsley (knee) did not practice on Friday. They are both considered doubtful to play versus the Jaguars.

Los Angeles also is looking to get star running back Austin Ekeler on track. The multi-purpose back has just 75 yards rushing on 28 carries and 13 receptions for 91 yards. He has not scored a touchdown.

The Jaguars (1-1) hit the road after an impressive 24-0 victory over the Indianapolis Colts last week. Jacksonville’s defense had five sacks and held 2021 rushing champion Jonathan Taylor to 54 yards on nine carries a week after he had 161 yards on the ground.

On offense, quarterback Trevor Lawrence was 25 of 30 for 235 yards and no interceptions with a pair of TD passes to Christian Kirk.

“You don’t just luck into a win like we had Sunday,” Lawrence said. “The preparation to get there, the focus, those things, you just replicate it. That’s the biggest thing. That’s the positive that you take from it, and you just try to do it again and again.

“As far as that result, that’s not going to win you the game on Sunday. You’ve got to stick to your processes and do it every day of the week.”

The victory has the Jaguars alone atop the AFC South, the first time that has happened since the same week of the 2018 season.

The Jacksonville defense has given up just 28 points, third best in the AFC behind the Denver Broncos (26) and the Buffalo Bills (17).

While the Chargers are dealing with key injuries, the Jaguars only listed cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hip) as questionable. He was limited in practice on Friday.

“Knock on wood, it has been good,” Jacksonville head coach Doug Pederson said. “It’s a credit to the players and how they have worked in the weight room, their conditioning. It has been pretty clean coming out of both games other than some minor bumps and bruises.”

–Field Level Media

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