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.

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Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: November 26, 2011 3:36 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Why is it when ever anyone chokes and plays bad that theres always a report where they are playing injured? Rivers has been choking simple as that i dont want to hear about so called injuries.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: November 26, 2011 3:23 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Yeah we're all envious of SD fans that get to root for one of the biggest chokers of all time. 

Since: Jun 27, 2008
Posted on: November 26, 2011 2:41 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Not sure if tarheelsunc50 can't read (the writer is speculating, that he's hurt, Rivers says he's not, and he's making no excuses), bitter about North Carolina losing to Rivers' NC State team three out of four years when he was there, or just doesn't like facts - Rivers is in the top five all-time for quarterback rating and has a higher winning percentage (.656) than some lesser lights (sarcasm alert) like Favre, Elway, Marino, Unitas, Kelly. Usually has good comments (as I remember it), but in this case there appears to be either a blind spot or quarterback envy.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: November 26, 2011 2:13 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Ummm, Philip is the one NOT making excuses, or did you just decide to run your mouth without reading the blog?

Yeah, he's overrated from playing great football for five seasons. Yes - great football, in the NFL, for five seasons. 


Since: Nov 27, 2008
Posted on: November 26, 2011 1:43 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

I live in San Diego and Ive been saying all year that for his sake I hope he's hurt. At least then he'll have a good excuse for this terrible season.

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: November 26, 2011 1:39 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Turner-out the lights, the party's over...

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: November 26, 2011 1:01 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Here is another theory. The man just had his 6th kid less then a few months ago. That is right his 6th kid.  Rumors are he does not use a nanny and its a typical household where the mother says she will do all the work raising the children.  Still there is nights where the man is going to be woken up many time during the week at 3 AM in the morning to change diapers or deal with something.   That is too many children to have without some type of help, if you want the sleep that you need to play in the NFL. Somebody tell the man to get some help at home or move out and live in a hotel.

Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: November 26, 2011 12:47 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

Aww, poor Philly is making excuses for his bad season. How about just accept that you are NOT. THAT. GOOD. He was overrated for many seasons and now he is playing at his natural level.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: November 26, 2011 12:35 pm

Is Philip Rivers playing hurt?

How come every time someone is having a bad season it is either A) they are getting old or B) they are hurting.  Has anyone ever explored the option that River's Kids might be driving him crazy but he doesn't want to admit it.  Perhaps a nanny would solve his woes.

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