When the Chargers and Broncos kicked off on Sunday, Los Angeles was locked into the AFC’s No. 5 seed because the Bengals beat the Ravens earlier in the day.
But Chargers head coach Brandon Staley nevertheless elected to play his starters for most of Sunday, and one of them may have suffered a significant injury. And to add insult, Denver came away with a 31-28 victory to end the regular season.
L.A. receiver Mike Williams exited the game midway through the second quarter and did not return with a back injury. While he was able to walk off the field under his own power, Williams was shown on the CBS broadcast struggling to get off the cart that brought him back to the locker room for further examination. Williams had four catches for 32 yards before he left the game.
Linebacker Kenneth Murray also had to exit on Sunday with a stinger.
The Chargers kept Justin Herbert in until there was 11:15 left in the fourth quarter and the Broncos had gone up 31-20. He finished 25-of-37 for 273 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
As for the game itself, quarterback Russell Wilson may have provided some hope for 2023 with his performance in Week 18. While he didn’t start all that well, Wilson hit Jerry Jeudy for a 57-yard pass with 19 seconds left in the first half and got rolling from there. He connected with tight end Eric Tomlinson for a 3-yard touchdown to tie the game at 17 heading into halftime.
Wilson finished the game 13-of-24 for 283 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
The Chargers finish the season 10-7 and will travel across the country to take on the Jaguars next weekend.
The Broncos end Jerry Rosburg’s interim tenure 1-1 and 5-12 overall in a lost season. Their full attention can now go to their head coaching search.