Chargers QB Justin Herbert out for rest of 2023 season after breaking finger in Week 14 loss vs. Broncos

Hurt his finger in Week 14’s loss by the Broncos and will miss the rest for the 2023 season for the Chargers.

The Los Angeles Chargers’ (5-8) NFL season has been a grind. Things got even worse on Sunday before becoming even worse again on Tuesday.

He has a very, very bright future ahead of him. That is what will be thought about in every choice.”

That’s why quarterback Justin Herbert had to leave the game toward the Denver Broncos because he broke his index finger in his throwing hand. The game was close in the AFC wild card race.

When the Chargers went into the home locker room at halfway, they told Herbert he couldn’t play the rest of the game. Los Angeles then lost 24–7 and fell far out of the running for the AFC wild card.

CBS Sports Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones reported on Tuesday that Herbert’s season is over after he had surgery.

Herbert’s head coach, Brandon Staley, had said that Herbert would talk to hand doctors to find out if he needed surgery and if he could play this season again. Next week, Easton Stick will start at quarterback with the Chargers.

He told The Athletic on Monday, “All of our attention must be on his future.” “There’s no doubt that his right hand along with his long-term future are more important than that.” He is 25 years old.

The Chargers are now behind six teams with records of 7-6 in the AFC wild card standings, so it makes sense that Herbert won’t play again this season. The Broncos were ahead 7-0 when he left in the late second quarter.

Nine out of seventeen passes he attempted were picked off, giving him a total of 96 yards. Easton Stick, a longtime backup quarterback who the Chargers picked in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, took over for Herbert to start his second NFL game.

On Thursday night, he will likely start against the Las Vegas Raiders, who are in the same division, and for the rest of this season.

Stick had only completed one pass in his career, a four-yarder against the Jaguars of Jacksonville in Week 7 of the 2020 season, before Sunday.

Cornerback Ja’Quan McMillian of the Broncos almost stripped him at the Chargers’ 17-yard line, which would have given Denver a score.

The corner picked up the loose ball and ran it back for a score. The call was changed to an incomplete pass, though, after the video showed that Stick’s arm was moving forward.

Herbert was put on injured reserve by the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday after surgery to fix his broken index finger in his right hand.

Herbert is out, so Easton Stick will make his first NFL start in Thursday night in Las Vegas. LA is 5–8 and has lost four of its last five games.

“Clearly, this isn’t what I had planned,” Stick said. “This is what you want as a kid when they picked me five years ago: the chance to go play.” “That makes me happy.”

Stick told Herbert that he has talked to him in the past few days and that they will keep in touch. Staley, Herbert’s coach, said that the surgery went well and that “he’s on the road to recovery.”

Herbert saw two hand doctors on Monday after hurting his hand in the second quarter of Los Angeles’ 24–7 loss to visiting Denver in Sunday.

If Aaron Rodgers of the Jets doesn’t come back from tearing his Achilles tendon, Herbert will be the eighth starting quarterback in the NFL to miss the season because of an injury.

Those two quarterbacks were the ones who got the most valuable extensions prior to the season.

Herbert signed a five-year, $252.5 million deal on the first day of workout camp, and Joe Burrow of the Bengals finished a $275 million, five-year deal three days before their first game.

Stick said that since they were both in the same draft class, he has been keeping a close eye on Burrow’s backup quarterback, Jake Browning.

Since taking over for Burrow, who hurt his wrist in a loss at Baltimore on November 16 and will not play again, Browning has prevailed in each of his three games.

“It’s been really cool seeing him jump at the chance and do really well.” Stick said, “We follow it just as much as anyone else.”

“Many of the best players in our lineup have been hurt.” It’s not fun, but it’s part of the challenge.

Sportradar says Stick will be the fourth starting quarterback for the Chargers since 2006. That’s the fewest in the league since that year. Green Bay comes next with seven.