Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers have officially identified their leading man under center heading into the 2020 season. On Wednesday, head coach Anthony Lynn announced that Tyrod Taylor will be the club’s starting quarterback when they visit the Bengals in Cincinnati to open up the regular season on Sept. 13. The veteran signal caller beats out rookie Justin Herbert, who was selected with the No. 6 overall pick at the 2020 NFL Draft. 

“Tyrod Taylor is our starter right now,” Lynn told reporters during a videoconference. “Until someone steps up and shows that they can run this team, that’s where we’re going into it as Tyrod Taylor as our starter.” 

This wasn’t exactly a heated quarterback competition between Taylor and Herbert, especially during this unprecedented offseason of zero preseason games. With the lack of traditional OTAs, minicamp, and exhibition games this summer, it did seem like a bit of a tall task for Herbert to come in and immediately start for Los Angeles. Given those circumstances and Taylor’s ability, it’s not too surprising that things were trending this way pretty early in the process. 

Taylor is entering his 10th season in the NFL and has 46 starts under his belt. The 31-year-old also has a year of experience in the Chargers system, serving as Philip Rivers’ backup throughout the 2019 season, and has a previous history with Lynn during a shared tenure with the Bills. He was Taylor’s offensive coordinator for two of the three years that he was Buffalo’s full-time starter. Over that three-year stretch as the starter, Taylor completed 62.2% of his passes for 8,857 yards, 51 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. He was also named to the Pro Bowl in 2017. 

The question now, however, is how long Taylor will be able to hang on to that starting job before giving way to Herbert, the clear future for Los Angeles under center given his draft status. If the Chargers fall too far behind in the AFC West this year, that could be the breaking point that allows Herbert to get in some live reps. That said, Taylor will be doing all he can to fend off Herbert for as long as he can, beginning in Week 1. 

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