After the game, Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said Herbert has a fractured right index finger.
He sustained the injury on a hit in the second quarter and came up from the turf shaking his right hand.
Justin Herbert is questionable to return with a finger injury. pic.twitter.com/F1wQATnAEn
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 10, 2023
Herbert jogged to the locker room after the injury and was replaced by backup Easton Stick. The Chargers initially listed Herbert as questionable to return before ruling him out at halftime. Herbert fractured the middle finger on his left hand earlier this season.
The Chargers trailed 7-0 at the time of Herbert's injury and went into halftime with a 10-0 deficit. Denver built its lead up to 17-0 before the Chargers finally scored on a 94-yard touchdown drive early in the fourth quarter. Stick connected with Quentin Johnston for a 57-yard pass that helped set up an Austin Ekeler touchdown run.
But it was too little, too late, and the Chargers wouldn't score again. The touchdown broke a seven-quarter scoreless streak for the Chargers dating back to last week's 6-0 loss to the New England Patriots.
The appearance in place of Herbert was the second of Stick's career. The Chargers selected the former North Dakota State quarterback in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He completed a single pass for four yards in a brief 2020 appearance and hadn't played since until Sunday. Los Angeles re-signed Stick in March ahead of the 2023 season.
He finished completing 13 of 24 passes for 179 yards in his relief appearance.