Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert sustained a finger injury for the second time this season, continuing the team’s string of bad luck. The injury occurred in Week 14 during a loss against the Denver Broncos. Herbert fractured the right index finger on his throwing hand and will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury and how many games he’ll miss. The Chargers’ playoff hopes are dwindling, with less than a 1% chance to secure an AFC wild-card spot, according to postseason projections.
Herbert’s injury not only affects the Chargers but also has an impact on fantasy football players, as fantasy league playoffs are set to begin in Week 15. The injury has put Herbert’s 62-game starting streak at stake, making him a doubtful contender for the Thursday Night Football matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 15.
In the event Herbert is unable to play, backup quarterback Easton Stick will make his first start. Stick, known for his collegiate success at North Dakota State, has been a backup for the Chargers since being drafted in 2019. Despite his limited action, Stick completed 13 of 24 passes for 179 yards in the Chargers’ recent loss to the Broncos.
The Chargers have been on a downward spiral since last year’s historic collapse during the AFC wild-card weekend, where they blew a 27-point lead against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Their disappointing 2023 season has placed head coach Brandon Staley’s job in jeopardy, with rumors circulating that he will likely be fired after the season. The Chargers’ upcoming schedule includes a matchup against the Raiders, followed by games against the Bills and Broncos, before ending the season with a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Given the talent in their roster, the Chargers are expected to attract numerous coaching candidates, with the offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions, Ben Johnson, speculated to be the front-runner for the head coaching position.