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    Chargers QB Justin Herbert still adjusting to fractured left middle finger
    • October 26, 2023

    COSTA MESA — The glove came off Wednesday. The protective padding and the athletic training tape remained on Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert’s fractured left middle finger, but he ditched the white glove he had worn during practices and games since he was injured Oct. 1.

    Herbert said it remained to be determined whether he would wear the glove in upcoming practices and/or during the Chargers’ game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday night at SoFi Stadium. In addition to added protection, the glove also afforded him better control of the football.

    “Every day it’s getting better,” Herbert said after the Chargers returned to the practice field following their 31-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. “We’re coming up on four weeks, so just doing everything I can to limit the pain and every time I’m out here being safe.”

    Herbert playing with a damaged finger hasn’t been the same effective quarterback as before he jammed it into the face mask of a Las Vegas Raiders player after throwing a third-quarter interception during the Chargers’ 24-17 victory in Week 4. In fact, the Chargers (2-4) haven’t been the same, either.

    Despite the fact that Herbert returned to the game without missing a snap, the Chargers were shut out in the fourth quarter of their victory over the Raiders. He attempted only three passes in the final quarter against Las Vegas, completing two for 54 yards, and they held on to win.

    Overall against the Raiders, Herbert set career lows with 13 completions and 167 yards. He was 13 for 24 for 167 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and there was plenty of postgame conversation that centered on his injured finger and the impact it might have in the weeks to come.

    In the next two games, losses to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6 and to the Chiefs in Week 7, Herbert wasn’t sharp. He was 22 of 37 for 227 yards with two touchdowns and one interception against Dallas and he was 17 of 30 for 259 yards with one TD and two interceptions against K.C.

    Herbert’s total of 653 yards passing is his lowest for any three-game span of his career, according to ESPN’s crack statistical research team, which also unearthed a few other nuggets, including the fact that his completion percentage fell below 60% for a three-game stretch for only the second time.

    He completed 52 of 91 (57.1%) against the Raiders, Cowboys and Chiefs.

    Compounding matters has been the absence of veteran center Corey Linsley because of a heart ailment since Week 3. Tackles Trey Pipkins III (ankle) and Rashawn Slater (shoulder) also have been bruised and battered in recent weeks, leaving the Chargers’ offensive line at something less than full strength.

    Plus, wide receiver Mike Williams, a favorite target, suffered a season-ending knee injury during the Chargers’ victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3.

    “It’s definitely tough losing two guys like that,” Herbert said of Linsley and Williams. “They’re about as good as it gets. They’re veterans in this league who have had a bunch of success. Any time you lose a guy like Mike or Corey, it’s going to be tough. We’re thankful for the guys who have stepped up.”

    Herbert referred to center Will Clapp and wide receiver Quentin Johnston.

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    “I think there’s a lot of things we can get better at,” Herbert said. “We’ve missed some opportunities. I’ve missed some opportunities. It starts with us getting better and understanding that we’re in this position. I think that the coaches have done a great job of putting us in positions to win and positions to succeed.

    “It’s on us as players. It’s on me. We’re not going to point any fingers. We’re going to get better because of it. There’s a lot of football left. I feel really thankful and fortunate to be in this locker room with these guys. They’re professionals. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”


    Wide receiver Jalen Guyton began his second week of practice with his teammates during the 21-day practice window leading up to his likely return to the active roster after beginning the season on the PUP list. Guyton suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 3 during the 2022 season. …

    Safety JT Woods worked out on the sideline during the portion of practice open to reporters. He has been on the non-football illness reserve list. … Safety Alohi Gilman (heel) practiced in a limited fashion. … Wide receiver Joshua Palmer (knee) and tight end Gerald Everett (hip) were absent.

    ​ Orange County Register