Rivers announced Tuesday that he will retire from professional football, Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. "It's just time," Rivers said. The 39-year-old Rivers ends his 17-year career ranked fifth in NFL history in both passing yards (63,440) and touchdown passes (421). After a lengthy stint with the Chargers, Rivers helped lead Indianapolis to the playoffs in his lone season with the Colts, compiling 4,169 yards through the air and a 24:11 TD:INT. With Jacoby Brissett set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, 2020 fourth-round pick Jacob Eason is the only signal-caller on the Colts' books for the upcoming campaign, but expect the team to add reinforcements to the position via free agency, trade or the draft during the offseason.
Colts GM Chris Ballard plans to speak with Rivers in February, Stephen Holder of The Athletic reports. Ballard believes Rivers can still play, but it isn't clear the quarterback will want to stick around for another season, nor is it clear the Colts want him back. The 39-year-old put up respectable passing stats in 2020, but he offers nothing as a runner and is well past his prime, so the Colts might shift their focus to finding a younger QB. The team should have a better idea before free agency begins in March.
Rivers completed 27 of 46 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 27-24 wild-card round loss to the Bills. He also threw a two-point conversion and rushed once for minus-1 yard. Rivers directed the Colts' offense past midfield on each of the team's three first-quarter possessions, but those drives all stalled soon after, resulting in just three total points. He led a touchdown drive capped by a one-yard Jonathan Taylor run on the next possession but just missed Michael Pittman in the back of the end zone on 4th-and-goal with a chance to grab a 17-7 edge on the ensuing drive and ended up trailing 14-10 heading into the locker room after Buffalo scored just before halftime. After a quiet third quarter, Rivers heated up in the fourth, tossing touchdowns to Zach Pascal (nine yards) and Jack Doyle (27 yards) to pull within three points. He got the ball back with 2:30 remaining but came up short on a Hail Mary attempt as time expired after Buffalo was granted a timeout to negate a completion that would have put Indianapolis in field-goal range. If this is the last we see of Rivers, he went out in fitting fashion, putting up solid numbers but coming up just short when it mattered most.
Rivers (toe) was listed as a full participant on Wednesday's estimated practice report. Rivers' listing comes as no surprise, as he hasn't been in any real danger of missing games the past several weeks while he continues to manage a turf toe injury. With the veteran quarterback officially in the clear for Saturday's wild-card game in Buffalo, he'll be taking aim at a Bills defense that allowed an average of 232.9 passing yards per game and 23 passing touchdowns during the regular season.
Rivers (toe) was listed as a non-participant on Tuesday's practice estimate. Rivers continues to manage a turf toe injury, with listed practice absences having become the norm. He's in no danger of missing Saturday's playoff opener against the Bills.
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