The LA Chargers unofficially saw their season end in Week 14 at the hands of the Denver Broncos. Not only did the Chargers fall to 5-8 on the season, but they lost quarterback Justin Herbert for the rest of the season due to a finger injury.
Los Angeles didn't have much time to dwell on the fact that the season is unofficially over as the team has to turn around and play another division game on Thursday. The Chargers will be on the road to take on the Las Vegas Raiders in what might be the most irrelevant primetime game of the entire NFL season.
Easton Stick vs. Aidan O'Connell is not necessarily a marquee matchup and it is made worse as other big names are dropping out of the game. In the final injury report of the week, wide receiver Keenan Allen was officially ruled out with a heel injury.
Keenan Allen ruled OUT vs Raiders as Chargers' tanking commences
This is absolutely the right thing for the Chargers to do. Keenan Allen has played through various injuries this season and will all of the miles on his body there is no reason for him to push it in what is a meaningless game.
Would Allen have been able to suit up if this game meant something and if Justin Herbert was under center? Perhaps. But with Stick under center, the fact that it is a short week, and there being nothing to play for, keeping Allen out with an injury is the best move to make.
What is more interesting is the question of whether or not Allen will play during the rest of the 2023 season. If there is nothing for the veteran receiver to play for then the Chargers may not rush him back and allow him to prepare for the 2024 season.
This obviously hurts fantasy football owners, though, as Allen has been one of the best wideouts in the entire sport. The Chargers shutting him down right in time for the fantasy football playoffs is less than ideal.
But alas, the Chargers need to focus on what it best for the team, not what is best for fantasy football teams. Keeping Allen out of Thursday's game is best for the team.