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Deyan Dimitrov December 11, 2023 3 min read
LA Chargers’ Justin Herbert May Miss Games after Second Finger Injury
Despite the unfortunate implications for the team, the incident may give other players like Easton Stick a chance to demonstrate their skills and get some time in the limelight
Justin Herbert’s unfortunate setback marks his second finger injury this season, with the previous fracture occurring on his non-throwing hand in Week 4. The Los Angeles Chargers did not disclose much additional information regarding their quarterback’s eventual return, leading many to speculate that the injury may cause him to sit out the upcoming game versus the Raiders.
Herbert Was a Lynchpin for the Team
On the play resulting in the injury, Herbert got hit by Denver’s defensive end Zach Allen. While the quarterback demonstrated impressive grit and completed the drive after the injury, he didn’t return for the Chargers’ subsequent series. The team noted that Herbert would undergo an MRI to assess the injury’s severity and determine his availability for future games.
The upcoming game against the Las Vegas Raiders poses a challenge for Herbert’s possible participation, with odds suggesting he might not play due to the short recovery period. The player remained optimistic, hoping for a quick recovery. The fractured finger has interrupted Herbert’s impressive 62-game streak, marking the second-longest active streak for NFL quarterbacks.
It is something that we’ll know more of as the week goes on… If there’s any chance to play, I’ll do everything I can to be out there.Justin Herbert
Despite previously enduring a rib injury in the 2022 season, Herbert displayed resilience, playing through the pain and missing no games. However, hand injuries can significantly impact performance, posing a significant impact for fantasy football players, especially as league playoffs commence in Week 15. Herbert mentioned he disliked leaving the team hanging, adding his finger was in a splint.
Stick Is Ready to Step Up and Prove His Worth
Herbert’s injury further damaged the Chargers’ dwindling playoff prospects, with projections indicating less than a 1% chance of securing an AFC Wild Card spot. If Herbert remains sidelined for the forthcoming matchup against the Raiders, backup quarterback Easton Stick is poised to fill the gap and step in for his first NFL start.
Stick, known for his successes in the FCS with North Dakota State, holds a record for most wins by a starting quarterback in FCS play. Despite limited playing time this season, Stick showcased his potential, leading the Chargers to their sole scoring drive against the Broncos. He noted that learning from fellow Chargers quarterbacks Herbert and Philip Rivers had prepared him for this responsibility.
I’ve been here five years. I hadn’t played in a while, but that’s part of the job. I’ve gotten to watch Justin, and I’ve watched Philip play and play really well.Easton Stick
The Chargers have faced a disappointing season, suffering defeats in four of their last five games after Sunday’s 24–7 loss. The looming elimination from playoff contention raises questions about head coach Brandon Staley’s future with the team, as he has yet to fully demonstrate his ability to leverage talented players like Herbert. However, the team can still make a turnaround and prove naysayers wrong.