Philip Rivers Felt He Could've Stayed Colts' QB1 If He Wanted to Instead of Retiring

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2021

Indianapolis Colts' Philip Rivers (17) throws a pass to Jack Doyle for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes

Philip Rivers said he wasn't forced out by the Indianapolis Colts last season and believes he could have remained the team's starting quarterback if he didn't retire.

"I felt wanted and felt like I was going to be the quarterback there if I wanted to be, so I didn’t feel like they (the Colts) were hemming and hawing," he told Bob Kravitz of The Athletic.

Rivers joined Indianapolis on a one-year deal in 2020 after spending the previous 16 years with the Chargers. He led the Colts to an 11-5 record but retired after the season, causing the team to eventually acquire Carson Wentz as a replacement.

As the 39-year-old explained, it was definitely his decision to hang it up:

"I felt like [Colts general manager Chris Ballard] wanted me back. But we talked about it as a family and it became clear: I felt like the time was right to be here (in Fairhope). I could have let it go for another year, but I’ve got one (child) who’s going to be a junior, another one is going to be a freshman, gosh, next year is going to be harder to move, and I’m one more year removed from getting the football program going."

Even with his age, Rivers was effective in his lone year in Indianapolis while finishing with 4,169 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. His 97.0 quarterback rating was the sixth-best mark of his extensive career that featured eight Pro Bowl selections.

Though it was clear he could have still helped the team in 2021, it was time to step away from the sport.

"It just felt right. It felt complete," Rivers added. "So could I still play? Yes. I can still throw it, and I think we could have had a really good year this year, but I felt complete."