Emilee Chinn/Associated Press
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor has reportedly been medically cleared to return from a punctured lung, which he suffered in September when a team doctor was trying to inject a pain-killing medicine before a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported the update Thursday and noted Taylor will serve as the backup to rookie Justin Herbert when he rejoins the active roster. That could happen as early as Sunday when the Bolts host the Jacksonville Jaguars at SoFi Stadium.
Taylor started the Chargers’ season-opening win over the Cincinnati Bengals and was expected to start the clash with Kansas City in Week 2 before the lung injury, which he incurred while being treated for cracked ribs.
Herbert, the sixth pick in the 2020 draft, impressed in the spot start against the reigning Super Bowl champions. He completed 22 of his 33 passes for 311 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He added a rushing score in a 23-20 overtime loss.
L.A. head coach Anthony Lynn initially said Taylor would retake the offensive reins when healthy, but he later reversed course and said Herbert would remain the starter.
“I did not take that decision lightly because Tyrod Taylor is a veteran quarterback with a winning record in this league, which is very hard to do, and he’s one of the best in the game in taking care of the football,” Lynn told reporters.
Herbert has continued to impress. He’s posted a 68.8 percent completion rate with nine touchdowns and three interceptions through his first four NFL games.
It hasn’t translated into much team success for the 1-4 Chargers.
While they rank ninth in total offense (390.2 yards per game), they are 22nd in total defense (380.6 yards allowed per game). They’ve given up 68 combined points over their last two games, losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints.
Los Angeles had a bye in Week 6.
Herbert will likely remain in the starting role for the remainder of 2020 as the Chargers continue building, and Taylor’s two-year, $11 million contract is over at season’s end, which will make him an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.