Dec 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Roethlisberger moves into fifth on NFL all-time passing yards list

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger moved into fifth place on the NFL’s all-time passing yards list on Sunday, surpassing Philip Rivers.

The 39-year-old Roethlisberger needed 27 passing yards against the Tennessee Titans to eclipse Rivers and did so on a 3-yard completion to rookie running back Najee Harris to open the second quarter. The completion gave Roethlisberger 29 passing yards on the day and 63,443 for his career.

Rivers, who retired following the 2020 season, now is in sixth place with 63,440. Both Rivers and Roethlisberger were first-round selections in the 2004 NFL Draft.

Roethlisberger likely won’t play long enough to reach No. 4, which is held by Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, who threw for 71,838 yards.

Among other active quarterbacks, Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons entered play Sunday in eighth-place on the all-time list (58,871). Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers was 10th with 54,464.

–Field Level Media

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

QB Philip Rivers says he’ll listen if Saints call

Retired NFL quarterback Philip Rivers said he’ll listen if the New Orleans Saints give him a call.

Rivers, 39, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday he has not heard from the Saints, who lost starter Jameis Winston to a season-ending knee injury on Sunday.

Trevor Siemian relieved Winston in the 36-27 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

New Orleans hopes to get Taysom Hill back from a concussion this week and also has rookie Ian Book available.

The Saints (5-2) host the Atlanta Falcons (3-4) on Sunday.

Rivers ranks fifth in NFL history in passing yards (63,440) and sixth in touchdown passes (421). The eight-time Pro Bowl selection compiled a 134-106 record in 17 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2004-19) and Indianapolis Colts (2020).

–Field Level Media

In this November 8, 2009 photo, Giants QB Eli Manning and San Diego Charges QB Philip Rivers come together at the end of the Giants 21-20 loss Sunday at Giants Stadium.

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Years later, Eli Manning talks about 2004 draft-day trade

After 17 years, a career that led to two Super Bowl victories and a place in the top 10 of a number of all-time quarterback lists, Eli Manning finally talked about why he didn’t want to play for the San Diego Chargers, the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2004.

“It was my decision having talked with my agent, coaches, [general managers] and owners,” Manning said on the “10 Questions with Kyle Brandt” podcast, which was posted Thursday.

“Going through the draft process, I was just worried about the Chargers organization at the time. I felt it was the right decision and I had a little pull. I quietly tried to say. ‘Hey, please don’t draft me, it can be our secret,’ and they didn’t keep the secret part of it real well.”

At the time, the Chargers hadn’t had a winning season in 10 years and were 1-15 in 2000 – the same season the Giants lost Super Bowl XXXV to the Baltimore Ravens.

The Chargers took Manning No. 1, then traded him within an hour to the New York Giants for No. 4 overall draft pick Philip Rivers and three future draft picks. Taken between them were Robert Gallery at No. 2 to the Oakland Raiders, who turned out to be a bust, and future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Many people long have speculated that Manning’s father, Archie, was behind the play to keep Eli out of San Diego. Eli said that wasn’t true.

“My dad just tried to take some heat off of me,” Manning said. “He knew I’d get criticized, he didn’t love the idea of it at first just because it was going to cause a lot of drama.”

The trade worked out for both teams.

Both Manning and Rivers are the all-time leading passers for their teams. Manning threw for 57,023 yards, Rivers for 63,440 yards in 16 seasons with the Chargers and one with the Indianapolis Colts. Rivers is fifth all-time in passing yards and Manning is eighth.

Manning was a two-time Super Bowl MVP; Rivers was named to the Pro Bowl eight times.

–Field Level Media

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is seen on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of the NFL week 5 game at First Energy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. The Browns won, 32-23.

Indianapolis Colts At Browns At First Energy Stadium In Nfl Week 5 Cleveand Ohio Sunday Oct 11 2020

Philip Rivers gets first win as high school coach

Philip Rivers is 1-0 in his new career.

The longtime NFL quarterback, who retired after the 2020 season, got his first win as a high school football coach on Thursday, leading St. Michael Catholic to a 49-0 win over McIntosh in Fairhope, Ala.

“It was a good win,” Rivers, 39, said after the game. “We did some things that were a little sloppy that I’m probably glad they happened now. We can clean them up and the boys can see, ‘Hey, that’s not going to cut it in region play.’ But all in all, we had a lot of different guys touch the ball. All the wideouts touched the ball. We ran it well. It’s a good start, but we have a long way to go.”

It had to have been an equally thrilling evening for the players at St. Michael Catholic, taking the field for the first time behind a coach who played 17 seasons in the NFL and retired 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 the same quartet of legendary quarterbacks.

And for Rivers’ large extended family.

“Tonight was special,” said Rivers, a father of nine. “I’m looking over and Dad is standing on the track. Mom is in the stands. My boys are spotting the ball. My brother is here coaching. I have nephews and daughters and nieces running around. It was that kind of night, just thinking, ‘Wow, what has happened in 25 years.’ Then it was really all about the boys. I told them I was excited to watch them play, and I really was.”

Rivers, who played 16 seasons with the Chargers franchise and one with the Colts, said the competition will get tougher with two teams in the top 10 of the 4A division on the schedule. But he recalled his days as the quarterback in Decatur, Ala., and wants his players to remember their high school games as fondly as he remembers his.

“After playing 50 something college games and 250 something NFL games — those Thursday and Friday nights in high school, being around it at Decatur High growing up and playing, they are some of my favorite memories,” he said. “They are in the top 10. I can think of a handful right now. It’s awesome. I’m trying to remind these kids of that because most of them aren’t going to play beyond high school football. We have a handful that can play at the next level and want to, and I want them to want to. But I also want them to appreciate experiences like this. You won a football game. Be excited. It’s awesome, and I’m enjoying the heck out of it.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws a pass as Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes (55) rushes in the second quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Colts, QB Philip Rivers to take a month before deciding future

While quarterback Philip Rivers mulls his future in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts will take some time to weigh their options at Rivers’ position as well.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard said Thursday he wants Rivers to return, but there are other factors that have to be considered over the next month.

“So here’s the discussion I had with Philip, and I had it with (coach) Frank (Reich) and I’m talking with (owner) Mr. (Jim) Irsay this afternoon,” Ballard said during a video conference. “Do I think Philip can still play? Absolutely, I do. Philip and I had an hour talk yesterday. He’s going to take time, and we’re going to take some time, and we’ll meet here in about a month and figure out which way we’re going to go forward.

“Philip’s got to make a decision that for sure he wants to play. So we have to go through that process.

“Do I think Philip Rivers is a winning quarterback that we can win and go to the Super Bowl with? Absolutely.”

The 39-year-old free agent quarterback just completed his first season with the Colts after 16 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. He completed 369 of 543 pass attempts this season for 4,169 yards and 24 touchdowns while being intercepted 11 times. He went 27-for-46 for 309 yards and two touchdowns in the Colts’ 27-24 loss at Buffalo in an AFC Wild Card game Saturday.

After the loss, Rivers laid out one of two options for him in 2021.

“Whatever God’s will is for me and my family, if it’s here in Indy playing another year then we’ll be here. And if it’s not, I’ll be on the sidelines with a ball cap coaching the heck out of a high school football team down in south Alabama,” he told reporters.

Rivers ranks fifth all-time in passing yards (63,440) and fifth in passing touchdowns (421) in NFL history. Last offseason he went through a similar process and signed a one-year contract with Indianapolis.

Backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett is also a free agent, leaving rookie Jacob Eason as the only Colts quarterback presently under contract.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) hands the ball off during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Colts QB Rivers needs foot surgery after season

The toe injury that has bothered Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers the last two weeks will require offseason surgery to correct, NFL Network reported Sunday.

Rivers, who turns 39 on Tuesday, has a plantar plate rupture to the big toe on his right foot, per the report.

He also has an active streak of 235 consecutive regular-season starts stretching back to the 2006 opener. Only Hall of Famer Brett Favre posted a longer streak among quarterbacks with 297 consecutive regular-season starts from 1992-2010.

Rivers injured the toe during a 34-31 win against the Green Bay Packers in Week 11.

He has completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 2,978 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions through 11 starts heading into Sunday’s game in Houston between the Colts (7-4) and Texans (4-7).

Rivers signed a one-year, $25 million contract with the Colts in the offseason after playing his first 16 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Rivers tops Marino for fifth in all-time passing yards

Philip Rivers moved into fifth place on the NFL’s all-time passing yardage list on his first drive Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tenn.

Rivers, in his first season with the Colts after spending 16 years with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, began the night with 61,358 yards. He threw an 11-yard completion to rookie running back Jonathan Taylor on Indianapolis’ first play from scrimmage to surpass Dan Marino for fifth all-time.

Marino finished with 61,361 yards in 17 seasons, all with the Miami Dolphins.

The next two on the list are No. 4 Brett Favre (71,838 passing yards) and No. 3 Peyton Manning (71,940). The all-time leader, Drew Brees (79,536), and the second-place quarterback, Tom Brady (76,969), are still active.

–Field Level Media