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5 Things to Know About Chargers QB Easton Stick

5T Easton

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was placed on Injured Reserve this week after undergoing surgery on his fractured right index finger.

With Herbert unable to suit up, backup Easton Stick will make his first NFL start on Thursday Night Football against the Raiders.

Here are five things to know about Stick:

1. Stepping up in relief

After Herbert exited the game late in the second quarter, Stick took over from that point forward and finished the game by playing the final 37 offensive snaps. Prior to Sunday, the fifth-year quarterback had played just two snaps in his NFL career, attempting one pass.

Stick finished Week 14 completing 13 of his 24 passes for 179 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked twice and fumbled twice, losing one of them.

Coming in cold off the bench, it took a couple of drives for Stick to get in a rhythm. But once he got going, Stick was able to put together some nice plays both inside and outside of the pocket.

His best drive of the game came in a drive where the Bolts started inside their own 10-yard line early in the fourth quarter.

Stick was able to connect with Quentin Johnston deep over the middle of the field for a big gain of 57 yards, before going right back to Johnston over the middle on the very next play for 22 yards. The Chargers were able to punch in the score after a three-yard run by Austin Ekeler.

If Stick were to start Thursday, he would be making his first career NFL start.

2. Former Bolts draft pick

Although this is the first extended action Stick has seen in the regular season, the quarterback has been around the Chargers for a number of years now.

After spending four seasons as North Dakota State's quarterback, Stick was the Chargers fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft (166th overall pick) and the eighth quarterback selected during that year's draft.

Since then, Stick has spent each of the last five seasons with the Bolts and re-signed with the team this past offseason.

Take a look back at the Chargers Week 14 game against the Broncos in monochrome

3. Teammates express confidence

Stick's tenure with the Chargers has seen him build the trust with teammates and the coaching staff.

On Monday, the team expressed their confidence in the backup quarterback if he were to assume the QB1 role in Week 15.

"I thought that he did some good things that we can definitely build off of," Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley said. "I told him this last night, when he went into the game, our team believed that he would move the team.

"I think that our team has been watching him now for three years — some of them for longer, he's been here since 2019," Staley added. "They believe in Easton [Stick]. They know what he can do. I did think, in the second half, he did some things that we definitely need to build off of for this Thursday night."

And the Bolts defense echoed the sentiment, as they have seen a lot from Stick during his time with the team running the scout team offense during the week.

"I have all the confidence in the world," safety Derwin James, Jr., said about Stick. "He gives us a great look every week. When he got in the game, you seen the throws he was able to make and some of the plays he was able to make. I got all the confidence in him and we're going to be behind him and have his back as a defense."

Defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day added: "100 percent. I have nothing but full confidence in Easton Stick. The looks that he gives us week in and week out are amazing. He's confident, he's poised, he knows the offense like the back of his hand.

"He's honestly a great, great quarterback, and I believe he actually proved that with what the situation he was put in," Joseph-Day continued. "A lot of quarterbacks put in that situation, they probably wouldn't give you points. He got warmed up and he drove down the field, two strikes, touchdown versus a defense that was playing very well. A defense that was sending a lot of zero blitzes, doing a lot of different things to try to get the quarterback off track, a lot of things to mess up the offense.

"I think he did a really good job, I think he was really poised in there and he did what he had to do with what he was given," Joseph-Day added. "We have full confidence in Easton. I think he proved that yesterday with the situation he was in, for sure."

4. Preseason experience

Stick has seen some heavy action when it comes to the preseason during his time with the Bolts.

The quarterback has played in 13 preseason games, meaning he's played in every game since 2019 (there was no preseason in 2020).

And in those 13 games, Stick was completed 134 of 217 passes (62 percent) for 1,175 yards and four touchdowns. He's also been a threat on the ground, rushing for 199 yards and five touchdowns in his preseason career.

5. Winning career at NDSU

Prior to joining the Chargers, Stick had quite the collegiate career.

In fact, he had the best college career in terms of FCS wins, finishing his career with a 49-3 record as a starter at North Dakota State.

Stick is also North Dakota State's all-time leader in passing yards (8,693) and passing touchdowns (88). He was also  a part of four FCS National Title teams with the Bison, including two as the starter. He also holds the school record for most total touchdowns (129) and the Missouri Valley Football Conference record for rushing yards (2,523) and rushing touchdowns (41) by a quarterback.

His most successful year came in 2018 where he was an FCS First-Team All-American, a Walter Payton Award Finalist and was named the Most Outstanding Player Award in that year's National Championship Game.

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