Spent the first half of the day with Philip Rivers who assures me that, while he's focused on coaching high school football now, he isn't closing the door on coming back for a stint late in the season if there's an NFL team that needs him.— Sam Farmer (@LATimesfarmer) August 3, 2021
The 17-year veteran quarterback finally hung the cleats up earlier this offseason, but apparently, not necessarily for good. Could there be a comeback brewing?
Despite a limited training camp with his new teammates, Rivers completed 369 of 543 throws (68.0%) for 4,169 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions during all 16 starts in 2020—even while battling through a nasty turf toe injury. The Colts went 11-5 with Rivers behind center and earned an AFC wild card playoff spot.
While he had obvious shortcomings regarding his diminished arm strength and a complete lack of mobility, Rivers commanded the line of scrimmage, largely avoided pressure, and was incredibly accurate for the Colts this past season. He played pretty smart, efficient, and winning football—even if it wasn’t necessarily spectacular by any stretch overall.
The energetic grizzled field general brought much needed leadership in the locker room.
That being said, with newly acquired starter Carson Wentz expected to miss 5 to 12 weeks recovering/rehabilitating from recent foot surgery, the Colts theoretically need Rivers now—not late in the season, where their postseason fate may already be well determined.
Rivers potentially returning makes for a fun story for a contending team with some late season bad luck at starting quarterback, but the timing doesn’t seem right for the Colts as is—where much more immediate help could arguably be required.