Season’s Sorrow: Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert Faces Rest-of-Year Absence After Surgery for Broken Finger

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert’s 2023 campaign is officially over.

The star signal-caller is undergoing surgery to repair the broken index finger on his right (throwing) hand and will miss the rest of the season, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero reported, per sources informed of the situation.

The team later placed Herbert on injured reserve. L.A. also activated wideout Josh Palmer off IR and signed rookie quarterback Max Duggan to the active roster.

It was the expected news after Herbert suffered the injury in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, but it underscores a traumatic Chargers season.

Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert to miss rest of 2023 season  following surgery on broken finger

Easton Stick, who has appeared in two games in his career, including his relief appearance in Week 14, will start the balance of the campaign for the 5-8 Chargers. Stick’s first career start comes Thursday night against the Las Vegas Raiders on Prime Video.

The injury is the first that will cause Herbert to miss a start in his four-year career. The quarterback played through an injured finger on his non-throwing hand earlier this season.

Head coach Brandon Staley told reporters on Monday the Chargers would do “whatever’s best” for Herbert long-term. Season-ending surgery is the move to prepare the signal-caller for 2024.

Expectations were high for Herbert and L.A. entering the 2023 campaign. The Chargers brought in a new offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, to jumpstart the operation. Herbert then inked a massive contract extension in July worth $262.5 million.

Things went awry from the start, with the Chargers losing their first two games by a combined five points. Staley’s club rode the roller-coaster to a 4-4 record before losing four of their past five games. The entire operation has been a mess. L.A.’s defense has been unable to get stops, and the offense has never found consistency, with a lack of field-stretching ability after Mike Williams was lost for the season in September due to torn ACL.

Herbert’s season ends with 3,134 yards passing, completing a career-low 65.1% of his passes with 20 TD tosses and seven interceptions.

With a backup quarterback at the helm and a tough end-of-season schedule, questions will now spin toward Staley’s future with the club and whether someone else might be coaching Herbert when he makes his comeback in 2024.

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