Should Ducks Great Justin Herbert Get the Start This Sunday?

Jordan Ingram Editorials 20 Comments

If you’re like me, the return of the NFL season this past week was a refreshing change from the doom and gloom of 2020. And if you bleed green and yellow, you probably wished former Oregon Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert had taken a few snaps for the Los Angeles Chargers against Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Ducks fans, you weren’t alone. As reported by NBC Sports, NFL fans took to Twitter to express their desire to see the Sheldon High School graduate and Rose Bowl champ take the reins from veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who struggled throughout the game.

Here are just a few of their tweets:

Taylor finished the game 16-of-30 for 208 yards and zero touchdowns. Yup, big ol’ goose egg. However, the Chargers’ defense played exceptionally well, helping the Bolts narrowly defeat the Bengals, 16-13.

Now, while I think Herbert could benefit from some time learning before he jumps in as QB1, Herbie might be playing sooner than fans anticipated if Taylor’s Week 2 performance closely resembles his debut. While this is an exciting prospect, some analysts don’t expect to see Herbert anytime soon.

Fansided writer Jason Reed didn’t think Taylor was in jeopardy of losing his starting gig, at least not yet:

“The LA Chargers have committed to Tyrod Taylor as the starting quarterback and it is going to take quite a bit for him to lose the job. I think this is what the coaching staff expected and it is going to take much worse play out of this from Tyrod to lose that starting job.”

Maybe so. But what if things get worse? Like way worse. And if the Chargers get desperate and play Herbert this year, is that a good thing? Is it too soon? While I’m excited to see any former Duck play on Sundays, I also want Herbert to have a long, successful career in the NFL. What’s more effective: Baptism by fire or rookie understudy?

Jordan P. Ingram
San Diego, California
Top Photo from Twitter

Andrew Mueller, the Volunteer Editor for this article, works in higher education in Chicago, Illinois.


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Jon Sousa

Answering the question of the article: I hope not. QBs who have a long prosperous career in the NFL are usually not thrown in the fire right out of college. Let him sit behind experience and learn the game more. He has a lot to work on and a lot to learn.

The more he improves and the more he learns, the greater the impact he will have when he plays. Better to get into some games during garbage time rather than start with a ton of pressure before you are ready.


Joe Burrow started and played pretty well for the Bengals, leading them in a 2 minute drive to tie the game, but for the kicker to miss the FG. The Dolphins had Tua on the sidelines while they lost to the Patriots, they will probably lose to the Bills this Sunday, so it’s only a matter of time until Tua takes over.


Yes, and as much as I actually liked the kid, even at ‘Bama, it’s unfortunately also likely just a matter of time before he’s sidelined with another injury. I don’t wish that upon him, but I think he needs to put on a little weight before taking too many significant snaps. He’s been injured pretty much every season and is the same size as he was in college…bio on the ‘Fins lists him at 217, ‘Bama had him at 218…and the hits are harder and more frequent at this level.

Jon Joseph

Burrow did look good. The late missed FG; get used to playing for the Bungles, Joe.


the fact that the charges put up a paltry 16 points against the bengals should be reason enough to try something else. the bengals had the worst defense in 2019 and even though they added a few players through agency and the draft my guess is their defense doesn’t break top 25. The problems with their defense last year were far more than just not having the ‘guys’ their defense consistently looks lost, unaware and that is a huge coaching problem.

The charges are in for a lot of losses if they can’t figure out how to push the ball down field. the only thing this offense had going for it is that they didn’t turn the ball over.


Herbert first start as a Duck was against a highly ranked puppy team. We lost, but you could tell that he had game. He survived and then thrived in college. My opinion is that he will do the same in the NFL.


First, I really don’t pay much attention to NFL, or most other pro sports. I’ve said it before, they lost me as a fan after several “we need to make more millions” disputes. That being said, I do tend to at least check stats and watch a highlight or two of former Oregon players, and Herbie is definitely one of those guys I’ll keep tabs on.

Should he play? Probably not. Yes, the pro ranks are about winning now, but at what cost? It’s going to be way more beneficial for him to develop at least a good majority of this season before taking the reigns.

I think we all can agree that we’d like to see him succeed, as do the Chargers, and it’s almost a given that if someone is thrown to the wolves it tends to ruin their confidence and sends their career into a downward and unrecoverable spiral.

This isn’t about looking good and boosting his draft stock anymore, it’s about his longevity…and $20-whatever million is a lot to invest in someone only to have them sitting on the scratch-and-dent sales shelf in a couple of years.

Jon Joseph

Interesting that Buffalo’s Allen sat behind Tyrod Taylor his 1st season and JH is doing the same.


Not sure about the start but i’d like to see him get some playing time. Going back to the college years I felt the same way with Shough, i’m definitely no expert but to me it seems like getting your #2 some experience would be a good thing.

Jon Joseph

Looks like, Shough will be able to play in a curtailed 2020 season? With a trip to Columbus in 2021, this would be great.

In 2021 with Fields no doubt going pro, it will be the Ducks with the experienced QB. .

Jon Joseph

Guvs Brown and Newsome have taken the steps required, as has LA County, that will allow the Pac-12 to play football starting October 24th or the 1st week in November. This issue appears to have been on the guv’s radar notwithstanding the issues with the devastating fires.

October = an 8 game schedule; Nov = 7. So, 1 or 2 cross division games will be cancelled. One would think that the game vs Utah will go away? Of course, the conference could decide as has the ACC, to scrap divisions for 2020? But I doubt this will be the case. One impetus for the ACC doing away with divisions was the inclusion of ND for the 2020 season.

IF October is doable, the Pac-12 with an game schedule and a playoff game, like the B1G (the B1G is also playing 6 ‘consolation’ games the Saturday the playoff game is played) could, if the other conference commissioners give their consent, qualify for a playoff spot.

Once the B1G decided to move forward, I think this move by the Pac-12 was close to inevitable. $1.3B is serious dinero.

2 guys who opted out at OH ST have opted back in? Perhaps, the Ducks opt outs will opt back in?


That sounds good, Jon, and at this point I think the rest of the Commissioner’s would be amenable to giving the Pac a chance to vie for a Playoff spot. If the conference championship game would bring in more $$$ than it actually would be useful, and maybe next season we could look to getting rid of the divisions.

Sewell, Lenoir & Graham will probably stay with opting out; but now, Holland, and Breeze could decide to stay.

Jon Joseph

For playoff purposes, starting in late October as is the B1G would be much better than starting in November. Will teams have enough practice time to get going on October 24th?

Charlotte had to cancel its game vs UNC Saturday due to a COVID positive O line. This was UNC’s 1 scheduled OOC game.

The Committee is going to have to be nimble. I definitely think the B1G will be approved to compete for the playoff. HYPO: with 2 games COVID cancelled does 7-0 conference champ Ohio State get in?


6 weeks to an Oct. 24 start, it seems that as the B1G is planning, doable. It wasn’t meant as an official statement of course, but MC said that 4 weeks would do it, and that could be the case if the team can be assembled to practice in the next two weeks.


1.3 billion reasons to move forward. If you count my vote, 1,300,000,001 reasons to get this season up and running.

I agree if the season goes this fall there will be pressure for some of these guys to show up and play. The NFL is all about effort and willingness to play.

I can see Penei still having a strong draw, but others may lose their interest level, draft stock, sitting out.

The NFL is all about what have you done lately and anyone sitting out better have a big trophy, Outland Trophy, next to them, and, or blow away the combine, if they want to get drafted high.

Jon Joseph

If a player has signed with an agent he will need a waiver to play. I hope the NCAA will no problem approving waiver requests.

Jon Joseph

Thanks Jordan.

The Chargers won the game, right?

We have no idea how JH has looked in practice and pulling the starter in game 1 is pretty drastic,

But, heck yes! I want to see JH play! If Justin has the chops to be an NFL QB, he is behind a guy he will beat out sooner rather than later.

This was the same situation Buffalo’s Allen, coming out of Wyoming was in. Allen had all the measurables but he needed time to get into the NFL grove. JH started for 4 seasons but as Mario admitted after last season, JH was not coached up as he should have been.

2 thoughts. 1. Better to improve in practice before being thrown into the fire. 2. The $ still spends.


I think Dakota might get another win, but as the losses start piling up there will be increasing pressure to start Justin.

Wait did I say Dakota, I meant Tyrod, same type of scenario.


Hey Jordan, I’m with you on being very happy to see the NFL back. Justin probably won’t get the start this week either; but the Chargers are playing the Chiefs and if Tyrod struggles again it will get ugly. Next week the Chargers are home again, hosting Carolina, and that could be when Justin takes over as the starter.