Herbert practices, but status for Week 3 still questionable

Sunday Morning Update: Herbert is officially questionable and will be a gametime decision. Herbert is still deciding if he will receive a pain-killing injection to help him make it through the game. If he does it will be performed with the assistance of an ultra sound imaging monitor to guide the administering doctor to the appropriate site. This will ensure that the injection is in the correct location and avoids any damage such as a punctured lung, which is what happened to Tyrod Taylor a few years ago. If Herbert does go I’m not expecting him to perform his best. It will still be painful, and the injection could wear off before the game is over. It’s a better option than just a flak jacket, though.

Chargers QB Justin Herbert has been limited at practice all week, however he appears to be trending in the right direction after he managed to complete a throwing session during Thursday’s practice. This was done with help from an injection to manage pain, and it reportedly came with mixed results.

Herbert suffered a rib cartilage fracture during Week 2’s Thursday night loss to Kansas City. The fracture occurred as he was being brought down by Chiefs DE Michael Danna. Herbert’s left side landed on Danna’s helmet, likely causing the fracture.

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Cartilage fractures aren’t uncommon, and most people tend to associate the word “cartilage” with the ears, the nose, or the knees. The human body, though, contains much more cartilage than that, including in our rib cage. This cartilage is called “costal cartilage,” and it allows our ribs to expand and be more elastic so our lungs can fill with air, and so we can handle trauma to the area without suffering a fracture every time.


Costal cartilage fractures are treated similarly to rib fractures in that it’s predominantly based on pain management. This means that – so long as there are no other complications, or further risk of injury – Herbert could play in Week 3 if his pain is manageable. This might sound like a good thing, but this cartilage typically leads to more pain and a longer recovery than a simple rib fracture.

Our algorithm has calculated this to be a Grade 2 injury, which implies there is some further risk of injury in his case. Because of that, his Optimal Recovery Time is still 14 days away. His Injury Risk is Elevated (18%) and his Health Performance Factor is Below Average (51%).


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