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Chargers doctor who punctured Tyrod Taylor’s lung in 2020 also treating Justin Herbert’s rib injury

Dr. Gazzaniga remains on the Chargers medical staff as he fights a lawsuit from Taylor.

Syndication: The Record Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

Prior to the Chargers’ week two game against the Chiefs in 2020, tragedy struck then-starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor when team doctor David S. Gazzaniga accidentally punctured a lung while attempting to administer a pain-killing injection for a rib injury he sustained the prior week against the Bengals.

The aftermath of the incident would eventually become overshadowed by the immediate success of Justin Herbert once he stepped into the starting role but with Herbert having just sustained his own rib injury against the Chiefs this past Thursday, it was only a matter of time before the situation hit the headlines once again.

As it turns out, Dr. Gazzaniga is still employed by the Chargers and he’s the one currently in charge of Herbert’s rehabilitation from a rub cartilage fracture.

If that wasn’t news-worthy enough, Gazzaniga is also in the middle of a lawsuit filed by Taylor and his camp where the former Chargers starting quarterback is suing him for damages in excess of $5 million.

According to the lawsuit, Taylor is alleging that he suffered “severe physical pain resulting in hospitalization, physical therapy, emotional distress and other past pain and suffering.” He’s also asserting that, due to the injury pushing him into a backup quarterback role for the remainder of the 2020 season, Taylor was forced to enter free agency that offseason in a worse position in terms of leverage as opposed to entering free agency coming off a season as a starter.

Taylor signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the Giants in March to backup starting quarterback Daniel Jones.

Per ESPN’s recent report on the situation, the NFL Players Association and Herbert’s representatives are expected to closely monitor how the Chargers handle their quarterback’s rehabilitation.

The Chargers host the Jaguars next Sunday and according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the main issue right now is how to manage his pain tolerance. If he’s able to stand it, it sounds like Herbert could be ready to go without missing any game time this season.