In the NFL, the best ability is availability. Coaches and teams appreciate a player who always makes themselves available to play. Throughout his 17-year career, Philip Rivers has been one of the most reliable players in the league. He is the definition of an iron man, playing through various injuries to be out there for his team.
The longtime quarterback has decided to call it a career, retiring from the NFL. He will go down as one of the better passers in league history and one of the best trash talkers. There is one more thing Rivers will be recognized for. He will go down as one of the most durable players in NFL history.
Philip Rivers had a Hall of Fame career
The NFL has had many great quarterbacks throughout its history, and Philip Rivers is one of them. The fourth overall pick in the 2004 draft has shown his greatness for 17 years, even with his unorthodox throwing motion. He played for the Chargers and Colts, putting together one of the top five passing careers in NFL history, at least statistically.
River ranks fifth in league history with 63,440 passing yards and 421 touchdown passes, per ESPN. The only players ahead of him in both categories are Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Brett Favre. He has accumulated 139 total wins over his career, which is the eighth-most in NFL history amongst quarterbacks, per The Football Database.
Despite the historic passing stats and win totals, Rivers failed to reach the Super Bowl. That is the only stain on his resume. He never found success in the playoffs, having a record of 5-7 in the postseason. Rivers was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and had the second-most wins by a quarterback without a Super Bowl ring.
With Phillips Rivers hanging it up, all of his stats and records will be used for or against him when Hall of Fame debates come up. There is no question that Rivers is a Hall of Fame quarterback. He has the stats to back it up, and he’s proven it with his durability. There are very few players in league history that have been more durable than Rivers.
Philip Rivers is one of the most durable players in NFL history
Whenever his team took the field for a game, Rivers was right there with him. His availability to play in every game is what separates him from the rest of the pack. He showed guts on many occasions, playing games through painful injuries. If there were an award for perfect attendance during an NFL career, Rivers would get that award.
The most impressive thing about Rivers’ career is that he never missed a single game since being named the starter. That means he has played in 252 straight games. That is quite the accomplishment. He holds the second-longest start streak among quarterbacks in NFL history, only trailing Brett Favre. Rivers had to pull off one of the gutsiest performances in league history to keep this incredible streak alive.
Rivers suffered a torn ACL in the 2007 AFC Divisional round against the Indianapolis Colts. Those injuries usually take at least eight months to heal, but Rivers was not going to let this keep him from playing in the AFC Championship game. Six days after suffering the ACL injury, he was out there playing against the New England Patriots. The pain he was playing with was obvious, but he kept fighting.
The Chargers didn’t win that game, but Rivers playing was the story. The guts he showed earned the respect of everyone and solidified his toughness. That was his career moment, and it had nothing to do with football play. It was about his toughness and willingness to put it on the line for his teammates. It’s quite fitting Rivers announced his retirement on the anniversary of that gutsy performance.
What’s next for Philip Rivers?
Now that his football career is over, what does Philip Rivers have in store for his life post-NFL? It looks he’ll still be involved in football, just on the coaching side. He has a head coaching job set up in Alabama, where he will be coaching high school football. Rivers will lead the St. Michael Catholic High School team now that his football career is over.
Rivers took the job at the school in Fairhope, Alabama, with the hopes of being able to coach his sons, per ESPN. He wants to follow in his father’s footsteps, as his father coached him when Rivers was in high school. He might have to tone down his trash talk now that he is dealing with high schoolers. Rivers is also a father of nine, so he will have plenty of things to keep him busy during retirement.
Philip Rivers loves the game of football so much he put his body on the line for it. His durability was like no other quarterback in the NFL, and that is what makes him great. As No. 17 walks away from the game, he will be remembered for his trash talk, his greatness, and being one of the most durable players the NFL has ever seen.