The LA Chargers' Week 14 loss to the Denver Broncos was painful in many ways. Not only was it an embarrassing loss to a division rival who hired Sean Payton from underneath the Bolts' nose, but it also resulted in Justin Herbert getting hurt and not playing the second half.
Losing the game and falling to 5-8 on the season was the final nail in the coffin for this Chargers' season so many fans pleaded that the team simply keep Herbert out for the rest of the year. There was no point in rushing Herbert back from injury and starting Easton Stick could help the Chargers' draft position.
After two days of deliberation, that is ultimately the decision that the Chargers have come to. It was reported on Tuesday that Herbert would be undergoing surgery to repair his broken index finger, ruling him out for the rest of the 2023 season.
Chargers make right call by ending Justin Herbert's season
It is unclear how severe the finger injury was and whether or not Herbert would have been able to return if the team was actually in the playoff chase. This might have been a situation where he could have toughed it out and tried to play if the Chargers were actually playing for something.
But even if Herbert could have toughed it out and played, it makes much more sense to get the surgery done now and end his 2023 season. There is no point in risking further injury, especially after all of the other injuries that he has suffered in the last two years. Heck, maybe the doctor will go in and clean up the injured finger on his non-throwing hand as well.
This is a win-win-win for all parties involved, even if it spotlights a sad reality for the Chargers. Herbert gets his finger fixed ASAP and can instantly start the recovery process. Easton Stick gets a chance to actually get reps in under center to try and earn his next contract as a backup quarterback. And the Chargers get a situation where they will likely lose out, helping the team's draft stock in the process.
The only bad thing that could come from this is what it might do to the head coaching situation. Based on how this team has operated in the past, it would not be surprising if ownership uses this as an excuse to give Brandon Staley one more year and avoid paying him $4 million next season just to fire him.
Regardless, the Chargers are making the right call. It is a bummer that fans won't get to see Herbert again for nine months, but it is best for everyone involved.