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Philip Rivers Open to Ending NFL Retirement for Opportunity Late in 2021 Season

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 4, 2021

AP Photo/Brett Carlsen

Retired NFL quarterback Philip Rivers is open to returning to the league late in the 2021 season if the right opportunity arises.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times relayed the news from Rivers, who is currently the head coach at St. Michael Catholic High School (Fairhope, Alabama) on Tuesday following a 17-year NFL career.

Sam Farmer @LATimesfarmer

Spent the first half of the day with Philip Rivers who assures me that, while he's focused on coaching high school football now, he isn't closing the door on coming back for a stint late in the season if there's an NFL team that needs him.

"I'm just going to stay ready," Rivers told Farmer. "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 clarified that he's not in playing shape at the moment but not too far off from it either.

"I'm not quite there. 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."

Rivers, who retired after the 2020 season, spent his first 16 years with the San Diego and Los Angeles Chargers before joining the Indianapolis Colts for the 2020 campaign.

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The 39-year-old completed 68.0 percent of his passes for 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last year. He finished 13th in the league in quarterback rating.

The Colts went 11-5 with Rivers under center and made the playoffs, where they fell to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card round.

The former North Carolina State star went No. 4 overall in the 2004 NFL draft to the New York Giants, who traded Rivers to the Chargers in a deal that brought Eli Manning to Big Blue.

Rivers' exceptional career includes eight Pro Bowl nods. He also led the NFL in yards per pass attempt from 2008-2010.

He started every game for the Chargers from 2006-2019. The team excelled under his leadership, making the playoffs six times and earning four AFC West titles.

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