Blog Entry

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Posted on: November 26, 2011 12:15 pm
We might not find out if Rivers is really injured until after the season. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Through 10 games this season, Philip Rivers has thrown 17 interceptions. His previous high in five seasons as the Chargers starting quarterback: 15 in 2007, and that was over 16 games. Annually considered one of the league's best quarterbacks, Rivers' sudden plunge into mediocrity has been, well, baffling.

Offensively, the names are virtually unchanged, although Vincent Jackson and Rivers seem to find themselves on different pages of the playbook on a weekly basis, and tight end Antonio Gates doesn't yet appear to be fully healthy. Ryan Matthews occasionally flashes first-round talent, but he still lacks consistency. Then there's the offensive line which, due to injuries, is currently held together with duct tape and chicken wire. And let's not forget head coach Norv Turner, who could be out of a job come January.

While all of these issues play some role in Rivers' Season of Forgettable Football, there might be a simpler answer: he's hurt.

You'd never know it to ask him (he's denied it every time the question comes up), but there's a growing belief in league circles that Rivers' unexplained slide can actually be explained pretty easily: he's not 100 percent.

"Rivers repeatedly says nothing is wrong, but numerous NFL executives and coaches around the league disagree," ESPN's Adam Schefter wrote Friday. "What has happened many times in the past is that a quarterback who struggles during the season will acknowledge afterward that he was hurt. It wouldn't be stunning if the same happened with Rivers. Based on the opinion of people around the league, Rivers has to be playing hurt, no matter how much he denies it."

Sports Illustrated's Peter King echoed those sentiments during a Friday appearance on NBC SportsTalk, suggesting that we'll learn after the season that Rivers was playing hurt.

It sure would explain a lot, though we suspect such a revelation won't do much for Turner's job security.

The gamble, assuming any of this is true, presumably was that Rivers at less than full strength still gave the Chargers the best chance to win, especially in a relatively weak AFC West. Well, as it turns out, the West is relatively weak ... and San Diego is still a bad team. Not all of that is on Rivers; he's played better in recent weeks. The defense has been atrocious and Turner's aforementioned game-management issues haven't helped, either.

Wherever the truth may lie, here's the reality right now: the Chargers are 4-6 and tied for last in the division. They'll probably need to go 9-7 to have a chance to win the West. If the previous 10 games are any indication, that's all but impossible. Then again, we say this every year, and almost every year, San Diego makes a late charge. We're just not sure they have it in them this time around.

Fun starts Sunday when Tim Tebow comes to town.

After a win over the Jets last week, the Denver Broncos hope to keep their streak alive as they take on the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.'s Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz preview this game. Watch the game at 4:15 PM ET on CBS.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.

Since: May 31, 2010
Posted on: November 26, 2011 6:36 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Maybe a brain injury?  He's made a lot of bad choices that have led to interceptions this year. 

Since: Apr 13, 2010
Posted on: November 26, 2011 6:33 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Stupid article.  There was no report of him being hurt cited in the article.  Some analyists think he must be hurt becasue he is having a bad year?  That isn't news.  I was expecting there to be something concrete in the article.  Thanks for wasting my time reading this.

Since: Dec 29, 2010
Posted on: November 26, 2011 5:51 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Philip Rivers has six kids? I didn't even know that fertilizing a turd was possible yet. Ole Philip Rivers needs to make sure his boyfriend pulls out.

Since: May 5, 2011
Posted on: November 26, 2011 5:37 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

The record of my fantasy football team would indicate he is playing hurt.

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: November 26, 2011 5:11 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Hey lumpoco, what are you a moron.  Did you even READ the article before you posted your idiotic comments.  How is Phillip Rivers Whining?????  I am pretty sure, at least in the article I read, that it said this is the beleif of MANY executives, but Rivers has denied it all along.  That sounds more like a person accepting the blame, rather than one coming up with an excuse.  Read the article for what it is, not what you want to beleive it is.  

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: November 26, 2011 4:53 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Rivers is not playing hurt, but even if he what? This is the NFL and players are paid to matter what! It figures that Rivers is using his "injury" as an excuse for poor play. But eve better QBs and lesser ones have done their job all without crying and whining.

Since: Sep 8, 2009
Posted on: November 26, 2011 4:32 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

So where's an X-ray or MRI confirming anything?  There are a few QBs in the league this year that are hurt; Romo, Roethlisberger, and Stafford are all good examples.  Yet their teams aren't in the crapper like San Diego.  The only thing hurt about Rivers is his huge ego.  Firing the career loser Norv would be a step in the right direction.  Maybe they can lose all of their remaining games and trade first round picks with Indy to draft Luck.  Have fun in last place San Diego super Chargers! 

Since: Jul 30, 2010
Posted on: November 26, 2011 4:26 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?


Since: Jul 30, 2010
Posted on: November 26, 2011 4:18 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Amid the discussion about Norv Turner getting fired, what about AJ Smith getting released?  After all, the team roster is largely his doing.  How many solid players on both sides of the ball have been released in the last few years and are playing well elsewhere?  The chronic absence of a bona fide playmaker on defense is an indictment against Smith's leadership in the front office.

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: November 26, 2011 3:59 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Are you sure youre not talking about Romo?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or