Justin Herbert leaves game with finger injury in loss to the Broncos

Chargers quarterback leaves with an injury as they lose their eight game of the season.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Justin Herbert watched as the Chargers lost to the Denver Broncos 24-7 with his right hand in his jacket.

The Chargers quarterback sustained an injury to his hand with 3:18 left in the second quarter when he threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-two. Broncos defensive lineman Zach Allen brought Herbert down and twisted him like a pretzel. Herbert stood up, holding his hand.

He would exit the game and not return.

Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said that he had a right index finger fracture immediately after the game.

“To be determined,” Staley said on if Herbert will return to action this season. “He wasn’t able to come back into the game. We’ll know a lot more in the next few days.”

The real question is, should he? After the way this season has gone, his contract, and in all reality not being playoff bound. Maybe it is time to sit him.

“If there’s any chance to play, I’ll do everything I can to be out there,” Herbert said after the game. “I’m going to do everything I can in the treatment room to get back to 100 percent.”

Herbert has his hand in his jacket during his press conference but admitted that he felt discomfort and his finger was in a splint. He did have x-rays on the finger and will find out this week to what extent the injury goes. It could take him the surgery route.

It was a rough day to start for Herbert and the offense, as the Broncos pass rush was consistently in his face and causing him problems. The offensive line had no answers.

The Broncos sacked Herbert four times and hit him several other times as they hit the opposing quarterback nine times and sacked them six.

In week four against the Raiders, Herbert sustained an injury to his middle finger, but it was on his non-throwing hand. This injury is to the throwing hand, which is obviously critical to a quarterback.

This being a short week makes things even more difficult for the Chargers quarterback’s availability on Thursday when the Chargers take on the Las Vegas Raiders.

As far as the game, the Broncos were just too much to handle. They didn’t make it easy on themselves going a combined 1-for-18 on third and fourth down.

“It’s not just one thing,” Staley said. “When you have numbers like that, it’s everything, and we just didn’t have a good enough plan today.”

The Chargers started with a big play as cornerback Michael Davis ripped the ball out of Marvin Mims Jr.’s hands for an interception. Set up the Chargers at the Broncos 13-yard line.

Davis had been benched the last few weeks in favor of Deane Leonard, but with his heel injury keeping him out, Davis got the nod.

Three failed plays later, the Chargers faced fourth-and-three as Herbert threw a pass toward the end zone, and Gerald Everett dropped it for the 21st drop this season by a pass catcher.

The Broncos went eight plays for 51 yards but were forced to punt. Riley Dixon got the ball to the nine-yard line.

Two plays later, Herbert throws a pass from the 12-yard line that is popped up by Baron Browning and intercepted by Jonathon Cooper. The Broncos make them pay as running back Javonte Williams walks into the end zone for a three-yard touchdown.

“We’re not all the way connected as a team,” safety Derwin James Jr. said.

Williams finished with 17 carries for 66 yards and one touchdown.

The offense couldn’t do much as Herbert was sacked by Zach Allen on third-and-ten, which forced them to punt.

On the next drive, Wilson dropped back on third-and-six but was met with a sack from Eric Kendricks, who has two sacks in the last two games.

Justin Herbert was sacked four times in the first half and left the game for a series while Easton Stick took over.

The second half featured a Wilson 46-yard pass to receiver Courtland Sutton that gave them the 17-0 lead. It was a terrific one-handed catch by Sutton. He has become a touchdown highlight as of late.

“It’s a lot of disappointments just understanding what this team is capable of, man,” edge rusher Khalil Mack said. “I don’t think we understand the potential and the opportunities that we’ve been given.”

Stick showed some life as he threw a 57-yard pass to rookie Quentin Johnston and then hooked up with him on the next play for a 22-yard reception. Austin Ekeler would finish it off with a three-yard touchdown run.

Wilson took the Broncos up the field on the next drive in 13 plays, finishing it off by finding a wide-open Adam Trautman in the end zone for the 10-yard touchdown.

Stick finished with 13-for-24 for 179 yards and might be called upon the next game.

The loss drops them to 5-8 on the season with four games left to play. Things have become complicated with their starting quarterback injured and potentially making the playoffs.

“We’re looking at that playoff picture and it’s getting a lot harder for us the more we lose,” Austin Ekeler said.

In a short week, they will gear up and prepare to face the Raiders, who are coming off a 3-0 to the Minnesota Vikings.

“Whether I can play or whether I can’t, I know that the team has full faith in [QB] Easton Stick,” Herbert said.