Chargers place Philip Rivers in concussion protocol; QB hasn’t missed a start since 2005
By Jack Wang
COSTA MESA — Philip Rivers is in danger of missing his first game since becoming the Chargers’ starting quarterback more than a decade ago.
The 35-year-old was placed in the concussion protocol after taking several hits in a 20-17 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday. Coach Anthony Lynn said the veteran passer self-reported symptoms on Monday morning. It is unclear when exactly Rivers sustained the injury in Jacksonville.
If he is unable to play against Buffalo this weekend at StubHub Center, the Chargers (3-6) will likely turn to backup Kellen Clemens – a journeyman who has only thrown 10 passes in his four seasons with the franchise.
“Obviously, I’d rather have my starter,” Lynn said. “But if something happens with Philip, we’ll go with Kellen. … Kellen’s been in this system long enough. He knows this system like the back of his hand.”
No amount of experience on Clemens’ part can replace what Rivers brings to the team. Acquired in a draft-day trade in 2004, the former North Carolina State star sat on the bench for two seasons behind Drew Brees. Since taking over for Brees – who joined the Saints as a free agent in 2006 – Rivers has started 194 consecutive games, including nine in the postseason.
That streak stands as the fourth-longest for any NFL quarterback, behind Brett Favre (321), Peyton Manning (227) and Eli Manning (220).
More to come on this story.