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Chargers QB Justin Herbert Shows Signs of Improvement During Thursday's Practice as He Works Through Rib Injury

An update on Justin Herbert's health status following Thursday's practice.

COSTA MESA – Justin Herbert proved last week that he's as tough as they come. 

After suffering a fracture to his rib cartilage following a hit from Chiefs' edge rusher Mike Danna, Herbert remained in the game and on the final drive for the Chargers offense, he completed 7-of-9 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown.

“The three toughest guys that I have ever been around are [Drew] Brees, [Matthew] Stafford and Justin," offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said Thursday, showing admiration for his quarterback's toughness. "He’s a tough guy, you see it, but it’s pretty impressive that he can do that under the conditions.”

Now seven days removed from the initial blow to his midsection, Herbert resumed throwing during Thursday's practice after sitting out from throwing yesterday.

It appeared he went through his typical throwing routine during the individual period of practice open to the media. He was, however, listed as a limited participant on the injury report for the second consecutive day.

As things look positive regarding Herbert's health status, there still lies a degree of uncertainty as things inch closer to game day. Herbert could be one awkward twist or one unfortunate hit away from facing excruciating pain yet again with this injury being immensely sensitive.

This week, the Chargers are shifting their game plan that caters to Herbert's capabilities in the event he is able to play through injury, but they also have a menu of plays laid out for backup quarterback Chase Daniel.

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“You have your game plan, and there are a handful of plays that might be Justin only, but you put a plan together and most of it spans whatever quarterback plays," Lombardi said. "I think we will be all right. There might be a handful of plays that we scratch out if Justin is not playing, but we will be ready.”

Herbert's injury is the type that can span over several weeks. With that being the case, it's presumed that, at the very least, the Chargers will look for ways to get the ball out of his hands fairly quickly to avoid strenuous hits on their franchise quarterback.

"You never want your quarterback to get hit. I think it’ll be a game-by-game basis, just with how he’s doing," Lombardi said of the play-calling.


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Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for more Chargers coverage.