The Chargers need to rush to protect Justin Herbert. Dolphins

In a career that has seen so much said, few things stand out so much for Justin Herbert.

Four times in his 44 NFL games, the Chargers quarterback has been fired a total of four times. Three such incidents have occurred in a row in the last three weeks.

“We have to get the guys to open faster,” offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said Thursday. “There were a lot of O-line shuffles and then faced pretty good teams. It’s a combination of things, but definitely something we know about and that we need to do better.”

Herbert was fired five times Sunday in Las Vegas, four times the week before in Arizona and five times the week before at home against Kansas City. During this time he received 37 strokes.

Coming back for another game, Herbert was fired by the pass rushers Nick Boza, Chris Jones, JJ Watt and Chandler Jones, among others.

The pressure against the Raiders set an early and ominous tone. On the Chargers’ first offensive snap, Max Crosby broke free from Foster Sarell’s right tackle and knocked the ball out of Herbert’s hand.

Herbert tried to retrieve the fumble, but the message was sent.

Charging device have dealt with injuries on the offensive front: center Corey Linsley (concussion) and right tackle Trey Pipkins III (knee) both missed time recently.

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) was trying to fumble in the first half against the Raiders last week.

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) was trying to fumble in the first half against the Raiders last week.

(David Becker/Associated Press)

Right-back Zion Johnson (shoulder) was out in eight snaps against Las Vegas but managed to play in the second half despite pain.

Pro Bowl left tackle Rashawn Slater (biceps) out since getting injured in week 3.

Along with testing their depth, the Chargers have repeatedly fallen victim to lightning-fast and more exotic pressures. The views led to confusion and malfunctions in the schemes designed to protect Herbert.

“There were a few circumstances that if you don’t handle them well, people will try to keep doing it,” Lombardi said. “This is something we have to show that we can handle.

“We had a few good reps of that, and then just a couple of times when the running backs had to fit inside and take that player out with an A or B gap, which is two weeks in a row, we sort of failed at that. We have to prepare the guys better and fix that part.”

On Sunday, the Chargers will face a Miami defense that has sacked at least one sack in 10 straight games and multiple sacks in four straight games.

More recently, the Dolphins got to the quarterback in much the same way that the opponents got to Herbert. They’ve got nine bags in the last two weeks.

Miami has Jaelan Phillips (selected in the first round of the 2021 draft) and Bradley Chubb (traded last month) as outside linebacker.

They also have Melvin Ingramwho was with the Chargers for nine years before leaving in the summer of 2021 as a free agent.

Ingram, who was the AFC Defensive Player of the Month in September, has sacked in four straight games.

“They have some good rushers,” Lombardi said. “Of course we’ll have to get down to business with our defense plan.”

Early in his career, Herbert displayed an ability to avoid bags, effectively disposing of a soccer ball. He was never fired more than three times in his first 27 starts.

But the pressure has increased lately, the situation is complicated by the lack of a reliable running attack and the loss of a wide receiver. Mike WilliamsC, who has missed most of the last five games with an ankle injury.

Thursday did bring some encouraging news for Herbert and the Chargers as Linsley, Johnson and Williams were promoted to full practice, suggesting they could each play against Miami.


Injury news is not so good for Derwin James Jr.’s safety. (quadriceps femoris) and cornerback Bryce Callahan (core) were out of practice, casting doubt on their availability on Sunday. … The Chargers will be without Pipkins and defenseman Sebastian Joseph-Day (knee), both of whom have been unable to train this week.