Tyrod Taylor is the main character in a tragedy Shakespeare wishes he could've written. The man has defied the odds with regularity, first by becoming an NFL athlete at all, and then working his way up from a 2011 sixth-round pick to a quarterback worthy of a starting job on several different teams. And every time he has earned that starting job, he has been railroaded and ended up on the bench. It has happened time after time.
The 2020 season was supposed to be the best chance Taylor had yet of holding down a starting job in the medium-term. The Los Angeles Chargers were adamant from the moment they drafted Justin Herbert at No. 6 overall that Taylor was going to be their starter for this season. That's the kind of thing teams say all the time before benching the presumptive starter in favor of the draft pick who is supposed to be the future of the franchise. But the Chargers stuck to their word, and Taylor started Week 1.
Then Week 2 came along. Herbert was told he was starting 10 or so minutes before the game began. News later broke that Taylor had to go to the hospital. Nobody knew what happened until Adam Schefter reported the following week that Taylor missed the game because the team doctor had punctured his lung while attempting to administer painkillers.
Taylor was declared out indefinitely while he recovered from this "oopise" from the team doc. Herbert played in Weeks 2-4 and looked pretty good. Good enough for Anthony Lynn to go back on what he had been telling media in that timespan and declare Herbert the starter going forward, as Schefter reported today.
That's just brutal. It's the second time Taylor has lost his job after suffering an injury and the third time he lost his job to a rookie quarterback. Just as the concussion he suffered in Cleveland that led to Baker Mayfield's ascendance to the top of the depth chart wasn't his fault, the team doctor puncturing his freaking lung was not his fault either. But the end result is the same. Taylor is once again the forgotten man.
Just another reminder that the NFL is a harsh and cruel landscape. All that glitters is not gold...