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    Chargers’ Justin Herbert admits he can’t shake mistakes
    • October 18, 2023

    COSTA MESA — Justin Herbert acknowledged the obvious for the second time in three days Wednesday. He wasn’t at his best during the Chargers’ 20-17 loss Monday night to the Dallas Cowboys, bemoaning several missed connections, especially two intended for wide receiver Keenan Allen.

    Herbert completed 22 of 37 passes for 227 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Above all, he failed to deliver the goods on the Chargers’ final possession. His interception on a third-and-10 play from his own 25-yard line sealed the deal for Dallas with 1:22 remaining.

    On Wednesday, Herbert admitted that reliving poor throws and interceptions is a quarterback’s cross to bear.

    “I’m worried about (poor) throws from four or five years ago,” he said. “Unfortunately, that’s part of the position of quarterback. I felt horrible. For Keenan to run routes like that and for me to miss him, it’s tough. I know if I get that shot again I’m going to make that throw. I hope he believes that, too.”

    Moving on, putting the past in the past, is not a skill Herbert said he’s mastered during his first four seasons in the NFL, all with the Chargers. It also likely dates to his collegiate career at the University of Oregon and possibly to his high school days at Sheldon High in Eugene, Oregon.

    “It’s incredibly tough,” he said. “It’s part of the game, unfortunately. I wish it were never to happen. Unfortunately, mistakes happen. You miss those two throws. The important thing for me is to move on, to understand that, hey, we’ve got to be realistic. We’ve got to be critical and understand that I can make those plays. I know I can make that throw. We’ve done that before.”

    Herbert then acknowledged something else that seemed obvious during the Chargers’ loss to the Cowboys on Monday, but something he hadn’t admitted before meeting with reporters Wednesday. His fractured left middle finger did cause him trouble, especially when gripping the football.

    “I didn’t have great use of it,” he said of his finger, which he injured during the third quarter of the Chargers’ victory Oct. 1 over the Las Vegas Raiders. “I think that’s pretty important for playing quarterback. Probably a lack of mobility or being able to flex it or use it to grip the football (was the biggest challenge).”

    Herbert wore a small protective pad covered with white athletic trainer’s tape on his finger as he spoke to reporters from a lectern. The Chargers didn’t hold a practice Wednesday, but did a walk-through in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

    “It doesn’t feel good,” he said.


    “No, not really,” he said. “It is what it is. It’s a broken finger. I’m going to do everything I can to minimize the movement and to minimize the damage to it. I felt I was safe going out there. The trainers did a great job of preparing me and getting me ready to go. I think all your fingers are pretty important. I was kind of thankful it is on the left hand and not on the right hand.”


    The Chargers placed safety Raheem Layne on injured reserve after he suffered a season-ending knee injury while playing on special teams during Monday night’s game against the Cowboys. The Chargers also claimed safety Jaylinn Hawkins off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.

    “Raheem is one of our top special teams players,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. “This is a tough moment for him, but he will be back. He has proven himself, in two years, that he can play in the league. Excited to get him back because he is one of those tough, smart, dependable players that you need. We’ll definitely pick it up around him. I thought that he was having a good season for us.”

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    Hawkins, who played at Buena Park High, spent three-plus seasons with the Falcons, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2020 out of Cal. He started 22 of 48 career games with the Falcons, including all 16 games in which he appeared last season. He played in only four of six games this season.


    Defensive backs Alohi Gilman (heel) and Deane Leonard (hamstring) didn’t participate in the team’s walk-through. Edge rusher Joey Bosa (toe), defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day (knee) and linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga (hamstring) were listed as limited participants.

    ​ Orange County Register