COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP)Justin Herbert doesn’t think the broken middle finger on his left, non-throwing hand will affect him when the Los Angeles Chargers face the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.
Nonetheless, Herbert and the team are being cautious with the injury.
Herbert wore a glove on his left hand during Thursday’s practice. He said he assumes he will wear it during the game.
When asked if the glove would protect the finger or help him grip the ball, Herbert said it was “probably a little bit of both. To cover it up, to have a grip. I think that does help on the off-hand.”
Herbert suffered the injury late in the third quarter of the Oct. 1 game against Las Vegas when his finger got caught in the helmet of Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby.
Herbert wore a splint on the hand during the fourth quarter. He completed two of his three pass attempts in the final 15 minutes, including one for 51 yards up the sideline to Joshua Palmer to seal a 24-17 victory.
In an effort to protect the hand, Herbert is not taking snaps under center in practice this week. Herbert has lined up under center on only 46 of 263 offensive plays (17.5%) in the Chargers’ first four games. That is the seventh-lowest rate of a team having its quarterback under center.
“We have some under-center plays. I think it’s just something that, as the week goes on, it gets better and better, and we’ll approach that later,” said Herbert, who is third in the league with a 106.3 passer rating.
Herbert spent most of his bye week getting treatment on his hand, but also noted he didn’t see any non-team-affiliated doctors or specialists.
Besides the glove, Herbert is not envisioning any other adjustments.
“Whether I was running the ball or whether I was throwing the ball, I felt pretty comfortable out there,” he said. “I think there’s so much going on during the game that you’re probably not going to be worrying about it too much. I think you’re just going to be worried about not getting tackled or not taking those hits.”
Thursday’s practice also marked the first time coach Brandon Staley was available since the team traded disgruntled cornerback J.C. Jackson to the New England Patriots on Oct. 5.
Jackson, who signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Chargers last March, was never on the same page with Staley. Jackson was a healthy inactive for the Sept. 24 game at Minnesota and didn’t play a snap against the Raiders.
“We just felt like this was the best course for our team,” Staley said about the trade. “There’s a body of work to go off of – two years’ worth of a body of work. We just felt like this was the best course for our team.”
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