Rivers Says “Door is Open” for Return

Jan 9, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws against the Buffalo Bills during the first half in the AFC Wild Card game at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

A 17-year NFL veteran may have another go in the league come late 2021. Philip Rivers told Los Angeles Times reporter Sam Farmer on Tuesday that he may very well consider coming out of retirement to play for a team in the later stages of this upcoming season.

Right now, however, the former San Diego/Los Angeles Charger and Indianapolis Colt quarterback has focused his attention on coaching high school football. He agreed to take the gig with the St. Michael Catholic High School Cardinals of Fairhope, Alabama in August of 2020 and said he would start as soon as he retired from the NFL.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t attempt to join a team come December or January.

“I’m just going to stay ready,” Rivers said. “I want to make sure I’m very clear: I’m not predicting I will play in December or January, for that matter. One, you’ve got to have somebody who wants you, and two, it’s got to be right. But I have not completely ruled that out.”

Rivers officially called his career curtains on January 9, 2021, when his Colts got bounced by the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card Round. He finished fifth on the all-time NFL rankings with 63,440 passing yards and 421 touchdown passes.

The quarterback also told Farmer that his body is in good shape, but Rivers is not quite in playing shape.

“I’m not quite there,” he said. “I’m getting back there. I wouldn’t have made weight if I had to report (to training camp) last week, that’s for sure. But I am getting back into the lifting and running, and shoot, I occasionally throw a ball around out here in this heat. It’s not too hard to get a good lather going.”

One team that could use Rivers’ services would be the team that he played for last season, as prized offseason trade acquisition Carson Wentz is slated to miss anywhere between five and twelve weeks due to surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot.

However, due to the timeline of the high school football season, there would be some question marks regarding the decision and the chance to come back for Rivers.

According to NFL.com’s Grant Gordon, “With Jacob Eason currently expected to step into the QB1 spot and experience nary on the Indy depth chart, Rivers would seem to be a viable option. But by the time Rivers would be ready and available, so too would Wentz, presumably. Predicting a team that could use Rivers in the winter is rather futile right now overall.”

With COVID restrictions slowly being eased in the NFL, a comeback from Rivers would provide another interesting twist and storyline to note for the 2021 season. However, the quarterback is still focused on a younger group for his love of the game.

And if a team is lucky enough to utilize his services, the experience level of the former North Carolina State quarterback could prove useful for a playoff run. The note would certainly make an interesting headline.

“Still, a likely future Hall of Famer being available down the stretch would surely be a dramatic twist during the most pivotal point of the season,” Gordon said. “For now, though, it’s all just Rivers thinking out loud as he prepares for a high school season down in Fairhope, Alabama.”

For Philip Rivers, his career has been an illustrious one. A Comeback Player of the Year winner in 2013, many game-winning drives, a couple of playoff wins, and even a share of an NFL record of 25 straight completions. Only time will tell if he gets another chance to play in the NFL in 2021.