The demise of San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers has been puzzling to say the least this season. Several pundits have suggested that the loss of RB Darren Sproles is the reason for the downward spiral of Rivers this season. The loss of Sproles hurts but this morning, ESPN analyst Adam Schefter is reporting that Philip Rivers is playing injured.
This is not the first time that this rumor has been brought up. Early on in the regular season, reports surfaced that Philip Rivers was playing with a sternum injury, something Rivers denied. According to Schefter, “numerous NFL executives and coaches” have told him that Philip Rivers has been playing hurt.
This makes more sense. Rivers is struggling with turnovers this season, throwing a career high 17 interceptions with six games still remaining. Rivers also has six fumbles this season. It would also make perfect sense that Rivers has not disclosed that he has an injury so opposing defenses can target him. If he does in fact have an injury though, the Chargers will have to answer to the league as to why he has not been added to the injury list this season.
Another analysis which has been offered up as to Rivers poor season, has been the injuries sustained to the Chargers receiving corps this season. I disagree with that assessment. Yes, TE Antonio Gates and WR Malcom Floyd have missed games this season, but did you happen to see who Rivers was throwing to last season while WR Vincent Jackson was holding out? Rivers was on pace for most of the season to break Dan Marino’s single season passing yardage record throwing to the likes of Buster Davis and Legenu Naanee while the Chargers offense was the number one ranked offense for most of the season.
I’m sure that the truth regarding River’s demise this season will eventually come out after the season, but the San Diego Chargers are going to need him on the field for the remaining six games of the season and he’ll have to find a way to string together one of those trademark late-season win streaks if this team has any hopes of playing in the postseason this year.