Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers has decided to retire after a year in Indianapolis.
“Every year, January 20, is a special and emotional day. It is Saint Sebastian’s Day, the day I played in the AFC championship with a torn knee ligament, and now is the day that after 17 seasons announce my retirement from the league, “Rivers said in a statement posted by Rivers on the Colts’ website. “Thank God for making my childhood dream of being a quarterback in the NFL come true. I’m grateful to the Chargers for 16 seasons, and the Colts for the 17th season. “
Rivers, 39, announced his decision Wednesday, less than two weeks after the Colts lost 27-24 at Buffalo in the wild-card round.
Rivers played his first 16 seasons with the San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers after being acquired in a trade on draft day in which first draft pick Eli Manning was loaned to the New York Giants in 2004. Manning He ended up becoming champion in two Super Bowls with the Giants and retired after last season.
Failing to participate in a Super Bowl is one of Rivers’ few moles within a remarkable track record in the NFL.
Rivers spent his first two years in San Diego as a backup to Drew Brees and took over when Brees signed with New Orleans as a free agent.
For the next 15 years, Rivers played every game. He started all 252, including the playoffs. He even came out to play with a torn ACL in the AFC championship match of the 2007 season.
Rivers accumulated 134 victories in his career – second among quarterbacks without a Super Bowl ring – and eighth on the all-time list. Only Tom Brady (230), Peyton Manning (186) and Ben Roethlisberger (156), Brees (172), Brett Favre (186), John Elway (148) and Dan Marino (147) have more wins in the regular season.
Rivers also says goodbye as fifth in complete passes (5,277), cumulative passing yards (63,440) and touchdown passes (421).
And it did not stop in 2020.
He performed better as the season went by – not surprising considering he had a new team and was prepared to get in tune with his new receivers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Colts’ first five games, Rivers had five interceptions and four touchodowns. In the last 12, he added 22 touchdown passes and six interceptions. His completion percentage (68%) was the second highest of his career, leading the Colts to an 11-5 mark and their second playoff qualification since 2015.
He did it by having to play the last seven games with an injured foot on his right foot.
Rivers was selected eight times to the Pro Bowl and he owns almost every passing record in the Chargers franchise.