In a recent announcement, the Los Angeles Chargers have revealed that their quarterback, Justin Herbert, will undergo surgery on Tuesday to mend a fractured index finger on his right hand. Consequently, Herbert will be placed on injured reserve, bringing his 2023 season to an early conclusion.
Herbert sustained the injury during the team’s 24-7 defeat to the Denver Broncos, when he was hit by defensive end Zach Allen in the second quarter. Despite completing a pass to tight end Donald Parham Jr. and initially continuing to play, Herbert eventually left for the locker room and did not return to the game.
In his fourth NFL season, Herbert amassed a total of 3,134 passing yards, achieving 20 touchdowns and recording seven interceptions.
Chargers head coach Brandon Staley emphasized the importance of focusing on Herbert’s long-term health and career prospects, especially considering the injury to his throwing hand. With the Chargers’ current record standing at 5-8 and only four games remaining in the season, Staley stressed the significance of Herbert’s right hand to his future career.
Herbert’s absence will end his run of 62 consecutive starts, the second-longest active streak among quarterbacks. Easton Stick, selected in the fifth round of the 2019 draft, will step in as the starting quarterback for the Chargers’ next game against the Las Vegas Raiders, with rookie quarterback Max Duggan serving as backup.
Stick, who took over for Herbert in the second quarter of the Broncos game, managed to lead the Chargers to their sole touchdown of the match. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 179 yards without any touchdowns or interceptions.
Safety Derwin James expressed full confidence in Stick, commending his abilities and stating that the team would support him. Despite the challenges ahead, the Chargers have not yet been ruled out of playoff contention, and wide receiver Keenan Allen remarked that the team still harbors hopes for a postseason run.
Allen acknowledged the difficulty of adjusting to a new quarterback but expressed confidence in Stick’s capabilities and experience.