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David Chao Shares The Only Expertise He Has By Weighing In On A Chargers Doctor’s Screwup

David Chao speaks onstage during day 2 of SiriusXM at Super Bowl LIV on January 30, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

The gall. The gall!

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday that the reason the Los Angeles Chargers abruptly started Justin Herbert over Tyrod Taylor in this past Sunday’s game was because the team doctor had inadvertently punctured Taylor’s lung while administering a pain-killing shot for the quarterback’s cracked ribs. The risk is not unheard of, according to Schefter, but it’s still rare to puncture a lung. Taylor’s now out indefinitely, and the NFL Players’ Association says it has started an investigation.

You know who had the balls to add his two cents to this news story, and boast about his correct prediction on the matter of a Chargers doctor making a serious mistake? None other than David Chao, the guy who previously held that role:

Chao now presents himself as ProFootballDoc, a guy who analyzes injuries from the couch but has some medical experience behind it. A doctor can’t accurately assess any injury or ailment without talking to the patient firsthand, but Chao’s more than willing to try, and people desperate for fantasy or gambling information are more than willing to take his word as gospel. In July, he began contributing to Clay Travis’s race-baiting mess of a website.

What’s lost on a lot of people who see Chao as a knowledgeable, reliable source is that there’s a reason he’s no longer a pro football doc. He resigned from his position with the Chargers in June of 2013 to spend more time with his family, but the decision didn’t seem completely voluntary. Patients who were not football players have sued him in the past for malpractice and negligence. In at least two instances, juries found Chao liable. The California Medical Board put him on a five-year probation in 2014. He had this probationary period extended in 2017 when the board concluded its inquiry into the Ambien prescription Chao had written for the late Chargers linebacker Junior Seau in the months before his 2012 suicide by a gunshot wound to the chest. The board ruled then that Chao would be prohibited from prescribing Ambien for four years. (The Chargers in particular have hit a real streak with their doctors: The team parted ways with Chao’s predecessor, Gary Losse, after patients accused him of performing surgery on them while he was under the influence of narcotics.)

Chao can keep guessing on ACLs and MCLs while he watches games on Sunday, but it’s nonetheless pretty gross to watch him spike the football about correctly identifying a medical fuckup tied to a team that previously employed him. Then again, he’s the expert.