Here are five final thoughts ahead of the Chargers-Jaguars matchup:
1. Chase Daniel ready if needed
In Week 4 of the 2019 season, Chase Daniel was the Bears backup quarterback when the Vikings came to Chicago.
On the sixth play of the game, then-Bears starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky was injured, thrusting Daniel into action in a crucial division tilt.
The quarterback was solid against the Vikings, completing 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Daniel, who posted a passer rating of 101.4, led the Bears to a 16-6 win.
Ahhh, the life of a backup quarterback.
“I think I’ve just got a really good routine that I’ve trusted,” Daniel said Friday in the Chargers locker room. “Everyone is different. It’s gotten me 14 years in the league to the point where every single game I go out there, I feel really prepared to run the entire game plan.
“It’s a lot of work, a lot of mental anguish at times because you learn the plays every week and you’re not allowed to go out there and do them and actually practice them,” Daniel added. “But, that’s the life of a backup.”
Chargers starting quarterback Justin Herbert is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars with a rib injury. If Herbert does not play, Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley Daniel would start, with Easton Stick as the backup.
Staley said he has full confidence in Daniel if he were to see the field, especially after seeing him take first-team reps this week in practice.
“Chase looked like how he always looks — steady, poise, command, accurate, tough, all of the things that Chase is known for,” Staley said. “Our team really believes in him and Easton because they’ve proven that every day in practice.
“[Daniel] attacks the plan the same way, and that’s part of the reason why he has been so successful in the league,” Staley added.
As for Daniel, he’s prepared for whatever happens over the next few days.
“That’s sort of why you play the game, it’s why you’re a backup quarterback,” Daniel said. [I’ve] been in the league for 14 years, I’ve had a lot of these crazy, unknown weeks. That’s sort of what it was this week.
“I’ve had an entire week to prepare as a starter, I’ve gone in during a game, I’ve gone 24 hours on a 72-hour turnaround on Thanksgiving to play,” Daniel added. “One week in 2014, Alex Smith almost burst his spleen and I found out Thursday night, so I got Friday’s reps. I guess that’s part of the deal as a backup. You’re expected to go in and if you play, play well.”
Daniel has appeared in 71 career games with five starts, with his last coming in Week 5 of the 2019 season, one game after he relieved Trubisky early in the first quarter at Solider Field.
“I feel really good about where we’re at as a team, where we’re at as an offense,” Daniel said. “If my number gets called, I’ll try my best to be ready.”
He later added: “I’m just going to go out there and try to execute the offense.”
2. Allen 50/50 to for return in Week 3
The Chargers listed four players as questionable for Sunday’s game in Herbert, Corey Linsley, Donald Parham, Jr. and Keenan Allen.
Staley on Friday said that Allen is considered a 50/50 chance to play. Allen was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday but did not participate on Friday.
“We were able to see him, you guys were able to see him, [Thursday] at practice,” Staley said. “We wanted to make sure that we gave him a day of rest, and then see how it is over the next 48 hours. I think he will be more of a game-time decision.”
Allen spoke in the locker room Thursday and described what it would take for him to be able to suit up against Jacksonville.
“You just got to have that dog, it’s about having that dog, being a warrior, not giving up and always feeling like you can make it to the next play,” Allen said. “definitely adrenaline, but you got to have that dog to get to the adrenaline for sure.”
If Allen does not play, he reiterated his confidence in the rest of the wide receiver group to make plays in his absence.
“It’s great, that’s what we work all offseason for, me and DeAndre [Carter] have been working out for about seven years in the offseason now so I know what he’s capable of,” Allen said. “He definitely has the talent he can get out there and make the plays that we all make.
“Josh [Palmer] obviously has been great ever since he’s been here so just having the abilities to have the next man up and keep the offense going,” Allen added.