Jan 9, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) looks on prior to a AFC Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

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Colts QB Philip Rivers retires after 17 seasons

Philip Rivers retired from the NFL after 17 seasons on Wednesday.

Rivers, the No. 4 pick in the 2004 draft in a class with Eli Manning and Ben Roethsliberger, played 16 seasons with the Chargers and the 2020 season with the Indianapolis Colts. The Chargers selected Manning with the No. 1 pick, then swapped him to the New York Giants.

Rivers announced his decision to the San Diego Union-Tribune days after Colts general manager Chris Ballard indicated a move might be coming. While he said he can definitely still play, Rivers said he’s ready for a new chapter — coaching high school football.

“But that’s always going to be there. I’m excited to go coach high school football,” Rivers, 39, said.

He will take over as head coach at St. Michael Catholic High School in his native Alabama.

Rivers joined the Colts on a one-year, $25 million contract last March after 16 outstanding seasons with the Chargers, who reached the playoffs six times during that stretch and advanced to the AFC Championship Game after the 2007 season.

“I am grateful to the Chargers for 16 seasons, and the Colts for the 17th season,” Rivers said in a statement Wednesday. “Thank you to all my coaches that helped me grow as a player and person. Thanks to the support staff. I appreciate the opposing defenses making it challenging physically and mentally every week. … I also enjoyed the banter. I appreciate the referees for putting up with all my fussing. I think I was right most of the time dadgummit!”

Rivers retires at No. 5 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.

The Hall of Fame company Rivers is surrounded by all won Super Bowls, but Rivers did not.

In 2020, Rivers posted 4,169 passing yards and 24 touchdown passes while playing through a nagging toe injury. 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.

The Colts are back in the quarterback market due to a retirement for the second time in three years. Andrew Luck abruptly retired in training camp before the 2019 season.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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