The Los Angeles Chargers already have ruled out quarterback Tyrod Taylor for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, but he is expected to also miss next Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, sources told ESPN.
Taylor suffered cracked ribs in Los Angeles' regular-season opener and then had a lung accidentally punctured by an injection before last week's game when a team doctor tried to numb up the initial injury.
Doctors told Taylor this past week that he is forbidden from doing any strenuous activity for two weeks, which would knock him out of the Buccaneers game. That two-week window of inactivity for Taylor could be enough to give an opening to rookie first-round pick Justin Herbert to seize the team's starting job.
Herbert didn't find out he was he was making his first NFL start in last Sunday's game against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs until the Chargers took the field.
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said this past week that Taylor's injury is not considered career-threatening and also emphasized that neither he nor Taylor are angry at the team doctor. Lynn said the Chargers do not plan on placing Taylor on injured reserve, where he would be required to miss a minimum of three games.
Herbert impressed against Kansas City, passing for 311 yards and a touchdown while also running for a score in Los Angeles' overtime loss. The rookie out of Oregon also impressed the Chargers after the game, when he walked around the locker room to encourage his teammates following a difficult loss. One team official described Herbert as "a natural-born leader" whom the players respond to.