L.A. Chargers QB Justin Hebert Defeats Las Vegas Raiders Despite Injury
Posted on: October 3, 2023, 10:00h.
Last updated on: October 4, 2023, 12:11h.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert sustained a finger injury Sunday on his left hand in a 24-17 victory against the Las Vegas Raiders. Herbert shrugged off the injury and finished the game. He even tossed a Monty Python quote to reporters in a post-game press conference.
Herbert fractured the middle finger on his non-throwing hand in the third quarter when his finger got stuck in the facemask of an opposing player during an interception.
For the second season in a row, Herbert sustained an injury but won’t miss any time. In the second game of the 2022 season, Herbert fractured his rib cartilage and played through the painful injury for the remainder of the season.
Herbert bounced back from the rib injury, posting strong numbers at the start of the 2023 season. He completed 71% of his passes for 1,106 passing yards and seven touchdowns, and also rushed for three touchdowns. He didn’t throw any interceptions in the season’s first three games, surviving 14 total quarters before his first pick.
Herbert Injury Status: “Just a Flesh Wound”
SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles was packed with Raiders fans even though the Chargers were the home team in Week 4. Despite a hostile crowd clad in a sea of black and silver, the Chargers won their second game of the year. They improved to 2-2 and handed the Raiders (1-3) a third-straight loss.
Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t clear concussion protocol, so rookie backup Aidan O’Connell got his first start in Week 4.
The Chargers led 24-7 in the first half, with Herbert scoring two rushing touchdowns and Keenan Allen adding a touchdown reception.
Late in the third quarter, safety Tre’von Moehrig picked off Herbert, who threw his first interception of the season. Herbert was knocked to the turf by Maxx Crosby and Adam Butler from the Raiders during the chaotic play. Herbet’s left middle finger was stuck in a facemask, which resulted in a fractured finger and thrashed fingernail.
Herbert entered the medical tent on the sidelines and emerged with a splint on his left hand. He returned to the field during the next offensive possession.
“He’s a tough customer,” said head coach Brandon Staley.
During a post-game press conference, Herbert quoted a line from Monty Python and The Holy Grail to describe his injury.
“‘Tis but a scratch, just a flesh wound,” said Herbert. “Got it stuck in the helmet. Thankful for all the doctors and all of the trainers out there that helped me get through that.”
Herbert finished the game, but the injury and splint impacted handoffs. The Chargers didn’t score again, yet held on to win by seven points while covering the -5.5 point spread.
Betting the Banged-Up Chargers
Staley entered Week 4 on the hot seat, and he was among the betting favorites to become the first NFL head coach fired this season. Staley and the Chargers secured a must-win divisional victory against the Raiders to pull even at 2-2 this season.
The Chargers listed Herbert as “questionable” on the injury report. But he’s not expected to miss any time.
The Chargers have an early bye this season in Week 5. The time off will allow Herbert to rest and give the team a window to pursue a surgical route if they feel it will expedite the healing process. Running back Austin Ekeler (ankle) is expected to return after the bye. But the Chargers lost wide receiver Mike Williams for the season due to a torn ACL.
After the bye, the Chargers face two difficult opponents. They host the Dallas Cowboys (3-1) on Monday Night Football in Week 6, before hitting the road to play the Kansas City Chiefs (3-1) in Week 7.
The Chargers began the season with a projected win total of 9.5 over/under, which hasn’t changed despite a 2-2 start. They are -105 odds to make the playoffs and -115 odds to miss the playoffs.
The Chiefs are the favorite to win the AFC West and an eighth-straight division title at -330 odds. The Chargers are the second favorite on the board to win the division at +330 odds, and they’re way ahead of the one-win Raiders (+2000) and Denver Broncos (+3000).
The Chargers began the season at +2500 odds to win Super Bowl LVlII. After an 0-2 start, their futures dipped to +3000 odds to win the Super Bowl and +1500 odds to win the AFC Championship.
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