Philip Rivers not ruling out late-season return to NFL

Philip Rivers is about to embark on his first season as a high school head coach in Alabama but the eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback isn’t ruling out a return to the NFL later this season.

The 39-year-old Rivers retired seven months ago after 17 stellar NFL seasons, but he told the Los Angeles Times that he isn’t closing the door on playing this season.

“I’m just going to stay ready,” Rivers said. “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.”

Conditioning might be an issue with Rivers not part of an NFL training camp. He indicated that he isn’t currently in playing shape.

“I’m not quite there,” Rivers said. “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 is coaching St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Ala., while the Indianapolis Colts, his team last season, have an unstable quarterback situation.

Carson Wentz, the quarterback acquired to replace Rivers as the starter, is slated to miss up to 12 weeks after undergoing foot surgery. Unproven Jacob Eason may be the team’s Week 1 starter.

Rivers recorded 4,169 passing yards and 24 touchdown passes while playing through a nagging toe injury in 2020. He led the Colts to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth, but the Buffalo Bills edged the Colts 27-24 in the wild-card round.

Rivers spent the first 16 seasons of his career with the Chargers — 13 seasons in San Diego, three in Los Angeles. He has a Hall of Fame resume by ranking fifth on the all-time passing list with 63,440 yards, behind Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, and fifth in career TD passes with 421 behind Brady, Brees, Manning and Favre.

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