A Los Angeles Chargers team doctor accidentally punctured quarterback Tyrod Taylor‘s lung just before kickoff Sunday while trying to administer a pain-killing injection to the quarterback’s cracked ribs, league and team sources told ESPN.
That is the reason Taylor did not start Sunday and rookie quarterback Justin Herbert unexpectedly did against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, in an arrangement that is likely to continue Sunday against the Carolina Panthers and quite possibly beyond.
It also helps explain why Chargers coach Anthony Lynn strongly backed Taylor on Sunday night and again this week. Many coaches believe that no player should lose his job to an injury — especially one that accidentally came at the hands of a team doctor. The Chargers previously said Taylor suffered complications from an injection. Those complications were a punctured lung.
The NFL Players Association is investigating the medical mishap, sources said, seeing what steps it should take next. An NFLPA official declined comment Wednesday about Taylor’s punctured lung.