Philip Rivers cleared to play against Bills, likely will keep iron man streak alive

The job of being the Chargers backup quarterback has been one of the easiest in the NFL over the past 10 years, and it looks like it's going to stay that way. 

The team announced that Philip Rivers has been medically cleared to play on Sunday against the Bills after spending the past four days in concussion protocol. Rivers self-reported concussion symptoms on Monday, one day after taking a big hit in the Chargers 20-17 loss to the Jaguars

Although Rivers was full participant in practice on both Thursday and Friday, he wasn't eligible to play against the Bills until he was officially cleared by an independent neurologist, which came after practice on Friday. 

Earlier this week, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn had been optimistic that Rivers would be able to play

"We think he'll play, but that's up to the doctors," Lynn said. "That's not my decision."

Even though he was cleared to play against Buffalo, Rivers has officially been listed as questionable on the Chargers' injury report, which means there's always an outside shot that he could miss the game. 

The fact that Rivers even showed up on the injury report was mildly surprising when you consider the fact that he hasn't missed a game since taking over as the Chargers' full-time starter in 2006. Since then, Rivers has started in 185 consecutive regular season games, which is the fourth longest streak among quarterbacks in NFL history and the second longest active streak, behind only Eli Manning (208 games). 

The Chargers' backup QB job has been so easy because no other quarterback has had to start for the team over the past 11 and a half years. 

Of course, the biggest upside to Rivers being cleared is that it means the Chargers won't have to start Kellen Clemens on Sunday. Clemens would be a huge drop off from Rivers and the Chargers just can't afford that this week, because a loss to the Bills could potentially kill their season. At 3-6, the Chargers' playoff hopes would get a much needed jolt if they're able to beat the Bills, who currently hold the sixth and final spot in the AFC playoff race. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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