Philip Rivers Downplays Possibly Ending NFL Retirement: 'That Time Has Passed'

Adam WellsApril 28, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 03: Philip Rivers #17 of the Indianapolis Colts walks off the field after a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

There was a time when Philip Rivers was open to an NFL return, but that is no longer the case. 

Speaking to Ben Thomas of AL.com, Rivers said he kept an open mind if the Indianapolis Colts "were in a bind" last season, but he's now content with retirement. 

"If something had happened and the Colts were in a bind, I would have done it," he said. "But it didn’t, and I wasn’t pulling for it to happen. Still, it was fun to stay ready and throw routes again, but that time has passed."

When the Colts placed Carson Wentz on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Dec. 28 and his status for Week 17 was uncertain, The Athletic's Zak Keefer reported they discussed calling Rivers if they needed a starter. 

Wentz wound up clearing protocols in time to play against the Las Vegas Raiders on Jan. 2. 

After trading Wentz to the Washington Commanders in March, the Colts solidified their quarterback position for 2022 by acquiring Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons. 

Rivers, who played one season with the Colts in 2020 before retiring, told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times in August he was "getting back there" physically if a team happened to call with an offer he liked. 

"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."

Even though Rivers doesn't sound like he will return to the field as a player, the eight-time Pro Bowler remains close to the game. He was named the future head football coach at St. Michael Catholic High School in Alabama in August 2020. 

Rivers officially took over as head coach last year following his retirement. He got his first career win on Aug. 26, a 49-0 blowout victory over McIntosh.  

The Colts signed Rivers as a free agent in March 2020. He spent the first 16 seasons of his career with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. The 40-year-old ranks sixth in NFL history with 63,440 passing yards and 421 touchdown passes.