Chargers Addressing Training Camp Issues But Playing Justin Herbert In Preseason Games Not Among Them

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Los Angeles coach Brandon Staley has some typical concerns he’s dealing with at Chargers training camp.

Some of his linebackers — Kyle Van Noy, Drue Tranquill, Nick Niemann and Kenneth Murray — are dealing with injuries and have missed practice. Safety Derwin James, who wants a contract extension, has been sitting out team drills to make his point.

So there’s stuff on Staley’s plate.

But quarterback Justin Herbert has no part in any of those issues.

Herbert, a blooming star his first two NFL seasons, has picked up where he left off last season when he threw for over 5,000 yards and 38 TD passes.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 27: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers warms up before playing against the Denver Broncos at SoFi Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

And that’s the reason you’re not going to see Herbert in the preseason this year.

“I think that it will be similar philosophically as last year,” Staley said, addressing the idea that any L.A. starters would play. “If we know who you are, and we’ve, from an evaluation standpoint, we don’t need to evaluate you, then you’re probably not going to play in the preseason.

“But if there’s — whether it’s a role or whether it’s a young player that we feel like those experiences are going to benefit them, then that’s the direction that we’re going to go. Then, your health is a big, big factor in it, too. We’ll be able to let you know that a little bit closer to next week.”

Herbert has never played in the preseason — in 2020 because there wasn’t a preseason and last year because Staley decided he didn’t need it.

And he apparently doesn’t need it in 2022.

COSTA MESA, CA – JUNE 15: Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley watches drills during the teams’ minicamp in Costa Mesa, CA on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (Photo by Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

 “You saw him tonight, he threw the ball at a really high-level tonight,” Staley said Sunday. “He operated the two-minute drill, used his legs. He’s had a quality camp. His teammates, he’s really elevating his teammates, too, and his teammates are elevating him.

“That’s what you want to see; want to see an offense that’s playing together. I think that’s what you’re seeing.”

Herbert is in agreement that practices have pointed the Chargers’ offense in the right direction for the regular season.

“I think, as an offense, we’ve done a lot of good things,” Herbert said. “We’ve made huge steps as compared to last year at this point, but like I’ve said, I think there’s a lot of room for improvement. We continue to build on our timing. Just being out there timing with routes. I think with protections that we can continue to be even more solid than we have been.

“I’ve seen a lot of good things from the offense.”

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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