LA Chargers: Making sense of the Tyrod Taylor punctured lung incident

Chargers news (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Chargers news (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The bizarre medical mishap will cause the LA Chargers’ week one starter to miss extended time, shaking up the team’s plans temporarily.

Freak injuries are just a part of the NFL’s nature.

The sport’s high flying pace and hard contact make it so that conditions are conducive to such injuries.

But this latest medical incident can’t be chalked up to on-field play or even practice.

Rather, this one is on the professionals who try to heal ailing players, making the irony of this situation quite profound.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, an LA Chargers‘ team doctor accidentally punctured the lung of starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor while attempting to inject pain-killing medication into his cracked ribs, an injury the quarterback suffered during LA’s week one win in Cincinnati.

If you’re looking for a word to describe this mishap, bizarre would fit the bill adequately.

This incident is the now known reason behind Taylor’s mysterious injury absence from Sunday’s tilt against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Chargers’ debut of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA.

Chargers’ head coach Anthony Lynn stated that the injury is “not career threatening”, but instead a “doctor’s mistake”.

The former is certainly a positive development for the Chargers and Tyrod Taylor. However, the complications that could stem from this ailment are currently unknown, especially after doctors reportedly told the veteran quarterback that he will be out “indefinitely”.

Schefter also reported that the injection was received just prior to Sunday’s kickoff, and had it not been for the punctured lung, Taylor would likely have taken the field as the team’s starter instead of rookie Justin Herbert.

There are bound to be numerous questions that will arise as a result of this medical mishap. After all, a punctured lung can affect normal breathing patterns, a critical function of life.

Additionally, Covid-19 is known for attacking respiratory organs in particular. Does this injury now make Taylor more susceptible to that virus or other viruses in general? It’s certainly possible. The veteran quarterback will need to tread carefully in this era of coronavirus as he starts the healing process.

Furthermore, the possibility of an injury lawsuit exists. Though Coach Lynn and Taylor have stated that this incident was a mere mistake, it will nonetheless cost Taylor games in a season that’s far from guaranteed to finish.

This matters for a career journeyman quarterback who may find himself without starting opportunities as teams begin to roll out their younger, and in some cases more talented alternatives.

The Chargers did that with Herbert on Sunday, and it worked almost as well as anyone could’ve hoped for or expected, despite the team’s loss.

Even after Herbert’s nearly sensational debut, Coach Lynn steadfastly committed to keeping Tyrod Taylor installed as the starter in the event his week one starter is able to make a quick recovery.

That comment didn’t sit well with many Charger fans, but it was ultimately the right thing to say, especially since a player shouldn’t lose his job to an injury, let alone a freak one.

Related Story. Week 2 proves Chargers can compete. light

Only time will tell what will be made of this bizarre situation. For now, Justin Herbert will be the  starting quarterback for the Chargers on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, and perhaps into the coming weeks as Taylor looks to recover from his punctured lung.