In a critical AFC West showdown, Herbert made one costly mistake.
That mistake cost the Chargers the game, something that lowers the young QBs stock in the MVP talks.
However, Herbert can use this as a learning experience and push himself back into the MVP talks for 2022.
So what was so bad that Herbert did in Thursday night’s game and can he correct his mistake?
Herbert Threw A Costly Interception In A Tied Ballgame
With the game tied in the fourth quarter, the young Chargers QB threw an interception the Chiefs returned for a touchdown.
Three years ago, Jaylen Watson was working at a Wendy's while he was trying to find somewhere to continue playing football.
Tonight, he has a 99-yard INT of Justin Herbert in his 2nd career NFL game.
Perseverance would be an understatement.
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) September 16, 2022
While the interception was great for Jaylen Watson, someone whose perseverance yielded stardom Thursday night, it was a killer for Herbert.
However, the interception is the Chargers QB’s first of the season.
But regardless of his interception totals this season, it shows in pressure situations he’s making costly errors.
Four-time MVP, and current reigning MVP, Aaron Rodgers, isn’t a quarterback who makes careless mistakes like that.
If Herbert wants back in the MVP talks, he needs a Rodgers-like season of minimal interceptions.
However, the path to an MVP title might be derailed this season, and not just from that costly mistake.
Herbert Has A Fracture In His Rib Cartilage
During Thursday night’s game, the Chargers QB fractured his rib cartilage.
#Chargers coach Brandon Staley says QB Justin Herbert was diagnosed with a rib cartilage fracture and that he could be back at practice next week. Staley alluded to this being better than a broken bone.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2022
While he completed playing Thursday night’s game, it’s concerning for him to have this injury.
With rib injuries being the toughest on quarterbacks, it’s interesting to see if Herbert can recover from this injury.
However, Thursday night might have shown his toughness, as he played with that injury and did well.
Still thinking about this throw from Justin Herbert, who was also dealing with fractured rib cartilage 👀
— The Athletic NFL (@TheAthleticNFL) September 17, 2022
But if the young QB wants to be an MVP contender, he can’t come back before fully healing.
According to former NFL QB Brady Quinn, the rib injury Herbert has effects “your twisting, your power, your torque, all that stuff.”
"It affects your twisting, your power, your torque, all that stuff. And By the way, you're still gonna get hit and you're gonna land on it from time to time…I remember it was just hard to sleep."
— FOX Sports Radio (@FoxSportsRadio) September 16, 2022
With these potential issues happening with the Chargers QB, if he plays next week, he might want to rest instead of play.
Herbert Needs Rest To Protect Himself And His Future
While Herbert has the chance to return next week, he needs to rest instead.
With his injury, he needs to protect himself by staying off the field.
However, doing this isn’t something the Chargers want to do.
Herbert is their best shot at winning games.
But putting him back in so soon risks the chance of his injury getting worse.
If this were to happen, the future of the young QB will be put in danger.
It also puts the Chargers season in jeopardy if their QB were to face a serious injury.
However, Herbert might risk his health to help his team.
If he does this, it can be a defining moment in the young quarterback’s career.
Can he play at a high level, despite coming off an injury?
If he can, he might very well turn into an MVP candidate in 2022.