INGLEWOOD — After more than a week of uncertainty, and a ton of speculation, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert started his 35th consecutive game despite fractured rib cartilage that limited his practice time going into Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Herbert and the Chargers were nowhere near their best during a 38-10 loss to the Jaguars, overshadowed by Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The Jaguars broke open the game with a 50-yard touchdown run by James Robinson and a 4-yard TD pass from Lawrence to Christian Kirk in the third quarter.
Jacksonville led 16-7 at halftime, and extended it to 31-10 late in the third.
Lawrence completed 28 of 39 passes for 262 yards and three TDs.
Herbert was 25-for-45 for 297 yards and one TD.
Herbert wasn’t sharp in the first half except for a second-quarter drive that produced a flawless 15-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams that cut the Chargers’ deficit to 13-7 with 6:10 left. The rest of the opening half was about as uncharacteristic of Herbert as possible.
Many of his throws were off target, the most noteworthy example of his injury. One pass intended for Sony Michel went into and out of the running back’s hands before it was picked off by Jacksonville linebacker Devin Lloyd. The Jaguars turned that into one of Riley Patterson’s three field goals.
Herbert was then sacked and the Jaguars pounced on his fumble at the Chargers’ 28. Jacksonville’s Lawrence hit Zay Jones for a 14-yard touchdown pass that gave the Jaguars a 13-0 lead, enabling them to cash two turnovers into 10 points in the pivotal second quarter.
Compounding matters, the Chargers lost edge rusher Joey Bosa to a groin injury late in the first quarter. Bosa limped from the field in obvious pain. He then tossed his helmet in frustration upon reaching the sideline. After a few moments, he retreated to the locker room.
The Chargers then lost standout left tackle Rashawn Slater to a biceps injury early in the third quarter. They were already without veteran center Corey Linsley because of a knee injury. Linsley was sidelined during last week’s loss to the Chiefs and didn’t practice this week.