The Los Angeles Chargers gave Tyrod Taylor every opportunity to become their starting quarterback when they passed on pursuing free agents like Cam Newton and Tom Brady in free agency. Los Angeles already had Taylor on its roster for the 2020 season, so the franchise decided to roll with him as the starter and give him the opportunity to see consistent reps at quarterback. However, things changed a bit when the team decided to draft Justin Herbert with their first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Herbert and Taylor were expected to battle for the No. 1 job in training camp, but the coronavirus pandemic made it obvious who Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn was going with to start the year. Lynn recently confirmed as much saying Taylor will "probably be our Day 1 starter," meaning open the season as the starting quarterback (per Jason B. Hirschhorn of Sports Illustrated).
Of course, the Chargers have a plan for Herbert as well, who the team hasn't seen any reps since he was drafted (as with all rookies in the NFL) due to no minicamp as a result of COVID-19. The Chargers will make up those reps over the next few weeks as teams prepare for live-hitting sessions in mid-August.
"This young man has got to be ready to play," Lynn said, per Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times. "This is a year of a lot of uncertainty. Every player has got to prepare and be ready to start. … Him sitting out the whole year, that may not be the case.
"It's chaos and we're going to have to welcome chaos this year. If you can't adapt and change, you're gonna struggle."
Herbert will challenge Taylor at some point this season, but it makes plenty of sense to go with the veteran. Taylor has starting experience in the NFL, going 23-21-1 with the Bills and Browns, completing 61.6% of his passes while throwing for 9,562 yards, 54 touchdowns and 20 interceptions (89.8 passer rating) in 70 career games.
If Herbert isn't ready to go, Lynn has made it clear he'll go with Taylor the whole season. The Chargers won't give Herbert the starting quarterback job because he was drafted high -- at least in 2020.