NFL readers Q&A: Concerns on Chargers’ Herbert, Rams’ Stafford

Readers ask our NFL soccer consultants questions in regards to the Rams, the Chargers and the league. Rams beat author Gary Klein, Chargers beat author Jeff Miller and NFL author Sam Farmer reply:

Was it silly for the Chargers to play Justin Herbert after he was injured and in ache when the group was down 10 factors with just a few minutes to play?

Steve Karges, San Diego

Miller: I requested coach Brandon Staley particularly about Herbert staying within the sport final week regardless of being in apparent misery. Principally, I used to be questioning if the Chargers have been in any respect involved about Herbert’s capability to guard himself. Staley famous the play on which Herbert may have doubtlessly run for a primary down however as an alternative threw the ball away for instance of him, the truth is, defending himself. That he led them to a landing after which the Chargers almost recovered the next onside kick means that, even at 10 factors, their deficit shouldn’t have been a deterrent in nonetheless attempting to win.

Klein: Along with his group down by 10 factors with just a few minutes to play, you may make sure that Herbert wished to play. Possibly even demanded it. Quarterbacks are group leaders. They know that just about each different participant on an NFL group absorbs extra bodily punishment and performs in additional ache than they do. Successful the sport is paramount. And for a quarterback, exhibiting teammates you’ll do all the pieces attainable to make that occur is identical.

Can Matthew Stafford throw the deep ball together with his elbow damage?

Vernon Atwood, La Palma

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was slinging the soccer as typical in opposition to the Atlanta Falcons.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Occasions)

Klein: Throughout coaching camp, Stafford threw passes longer than 50 yards with out a downside. He went by an arm upkeep routine earlier than and after exercises and pronounced himself match and prepared for the season. The truth that we haven’t seen deep passes by two video games isn’t an elbow challenge. At the very least not but. Receiver Van Jefferson, their deep-ball risk final season, is sidelined whereas getting back from knee surgical procedure. Tutu Atwell, a second-round decide in 2021, was imagined to fill that function this season, however coach Sean McVay has not demonstrated that he trusts Atwell sufficient to offer him these alternatives. The Rams have trumpeted Allen Robinson as a receiver who will be efficient in any respect ranges, however they’ve but to offer him an apparent longer-route alternative.

If 75% of all kickoffs don’t get returned, then why trouble? Why not simply transfer the kickoff spot again 10 yards? Or penalize moderately than reward kickers who simply kick it by the tip zone?

Debra Steinberg, Corona del Mar

Farmer: Whereas that answer would definitely encourage extra kick returns, the NFL isn’t wanting to try this. Some within the league imagine the kickoff ought to be abolished completely. That play, whereas thrilling, can also be disproportionately answerable for concussions and different important accidents. In keeping with statistics not too long ago launched by the NFL, there are extra critical knee accidents on kickoffs and punts than on different offensive or defensive performs. The league says, as an example, that roughly 30% of torn ACLs happen on particular groups performs, though these are about 17% of the performs in a sport. So, a lot as purists may hate it, we’re going to see fewer kick returns within the years to come back, no more.

As a season-ticket holder for the “Bolts” the final two seasons, I’ve seen the group lastly make large strides in gaining new followers of their new market. SoFi is slowly turning into a real dwelling area for the Chargers. I’m curious to see your ideas on this, should you guys agree.

Antonio Garcia, Lengthy Seashore

Miller: I’d not say the Chargers have skilled a real home-field benefit but at SoFi Stadium. Sure, the fan base is definitely rising, thanks principally, I imagine, to Herbert. This weekend’s sport in opposition to Jacksonville ought to function an apparent pro-Chargers crowd. However any SoFi Stadium benefits up to now haven’t been realized.

Klein: My first Chargers regular-season dwelling sport will likely be later this season after they play the Rams. So I’ll be capable to present a greater reply then. However I’ve been in sporting items and department shops within the Southland. I see lots of Rams merchandise. Not as a lot Chargers. Maybe that’s as a result of the Rams received the Tremendous Bowl — and because the Rams beat author for the Occasions, I’m extra centered on the Rams. However as we’ve stated earlier than, there are lots of transplants from throughout the nation within the area they usually nonetheless love the groups they grew up with. Or, within the case of Los Angeles soccer followers deserted by the NFL for therefore lengthy, groups that they adopted. Buffalo Payments followers have been the newest to power the Rams to go to a silent depend at SoFi Stadium. So for the Rams or Chargers to ascertain a real home-field benefit is an ongoing problem.

What occurred to Troy Reeder? Did he even play within the Chargers-Raiders opener?

Hugh Terrell, San Diego

Miller: The Chargers signed Reeder largely to be a core particular groups participant and chief, and that’s what he has been by two video games. All 44 snaps he has performed as a Charger have come on particular groups. Except there are accidents at inside linebacker, I’d count on his contributions to proceed to be restricted to particular groups.