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Suspicions persist that Rivers is playing hurt

Chargers quarterback Rivers throws a pass while being pressured by Chicago Bears' Peppers in their NFL football game in Chicago Reuters

During last night’s episode of NBC SportsTalk, Peter King predicted that, after the season ends, we’ll learn that Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers played for most if not all of the season with a previously concealed injury.  Adam Schefter of ESPN echoed that sentiment this morning, pointing out that people around the league believe Rivers is playing hurt.

But Rivers has denied it, and the team hasn’t supplied any injury information on its various reports.

Of course, the hiding of injuries by NFL teams isn’t uncommon.  Earlier this year, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie claimed that the Chargers failed to disclose that he had a fractured hip in 2008.

The league rarely nails a team for hiding injuries, absent glaring evidence that forces the NFL’s hand.  For example, when then-Vikings quarterback Brett Favre talked consistently about his undisclosed late-season arm injury during his only year with the Jets, the league office eventually had no choice but to hand out fines.

So, basically, if Rivers and the Chargers are hiding an injury, it’s highly unlikely that anything will be done unless Rivers intentionally or accidentally confesses.

Repeatedly.

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58 Responses to “Suspicions persist that Rivers is playing hurt”
  1. burtomatic says: Nov 26, 2011 10:59 AM

    thats what I would say too.

  2. thridandlong says: Nov 26, 2011 11:01 AM

    And so is 70 percent of all NFL players….

    Your point is ?

  3. 3yardsndust says: Nov 26, 2011 11:04 AM

    Rivers is a decent QB with decent talent around him. There’s no other reason why he would suddenly be so consistently bad.

  4. jaycutlerstampon says: Nov 26, 2011 11:06 AM

    We would never play hurt.

  5. golonger says: Nov 26, 2011 11:07 AM

    His “injury” was diagnosed a long time ago…he is suffering from a case of the “Norv Turner”…which should clear up at the close of the season!!!!!

  6. smo06d says: Nov 26, 2011 11:07 AM

    I would claim an injury too! Hopefully with a new coach next year the Chargers can utilize the insane amount of talent on that team.

  7. bettis3636 says: Nov 26, 2011 11:13 AM

    Even IF he is playing hurt BRAVO to him for being a NFL FOOTBALL PLAYER… not a Diva (Jay Cutler) the Chargers will never do a thing as long as Turner is there… Phillip is just simply trying his best!!… I cant hate this man at all… IF he is hurt!! ha

  8. rexismybff says: Nov 26, 2011 11:14 AM

    smo06d says: Nov 26, 2011 11:07 AM

    I would claim an injury too! Hopefully with a new coach next year the Chargers can utilize the insane amount of talent on that team.

    =============================

    They only look “insanely talented” because they spend their time playing other no-defense weaklings in the AFC West. (Although Von Miller may be changing all that).

    When was the last time an AFC West team won the Super Bowl? Horse-face was qb, and Terrell Davis was the running back. I rest my case.

  9. redguy12588 says: Nov 26, 2011 11:14 AM

    He’s not throwing the ball with less velocity, he’s making poor decisions. Unless he’s concussed, I doubt he’s hurt.

  10. aldo5408 says: Nov 26, 2011 11:16 AM

    HERE’S A THEORY:

    Raiders get royally screwed by officials each and every year. This, is nothing new. However, yesterday’s Raiders-Vikings game officials should’ve had ski-masks on for that stick-up job.

    Could it be a coincidence that this blatant, ugly bias by the officials happens just when Tebowmania is taking off and the Denver Broncos all of a sudden have a chance in the division? Who doesn’t think the NFL would like to squeeze every last drop it can out of the Tebow publicity? Broncos making the playoffs would certainly extend that story.

    Sadly, Raiders may have to overcome an 11-on-18 playing field each week from here on out or until someone puts Tebowmania out of its misery.

  11. ccoolahan14 says: Nov 26, 2011 11:21 AM

    Meanwhile you have Ben Roethlisberger going out of his way to tell anyone who will listen that his finger hurts.

  12. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Nov 26, 2011 11:35 AM

    what has rivers done to deserve the benefit of the assumption that he’s playing hurt because he’s playing bad?
    i don’t get it.
    it’s not like he’s done anything to deserve this treatment like win a superbowl like eli or superbowls like roethlisberger.

  13. thetruth619 says: Nov 26, 2011 11:41 AM

    rexismybff says: Nov 26, 2011 11:14 AM

    They only look “insanely talented” because they spend their time playing other no-defense weaklings in the AFC West. (Although Von Miller may be changing all that).

    When was the last time an AFC West team won the Super Bowl? Horse-face was qb, and Terrell Davis was the running back. I rest my case.

    =======================================

    Please tell me you’re not a Jets fan lol Because that would be the ultimate irony to have a a Jets fan talking about the last time anyone else won a Superbowl. If you aren’t a Jets fan, ok. But if you are, I’m sure the Raiders would love for you to come to Oakland every year. That cupcake run defense was a dream come true.

    As for the Chargers. I still can’t figure out why people always say they’re so talented. Where?? They have a good QB, a good WR, and a good TE (who may never be the same). Where is the rest of the talent??

  14. ducesblackshirt says: Nov 26, 2011 11:46 AM

    His injury is why he forced a pass in to double coverage in the end zone against the Bears and later threw just about the worst interception I’ve ever seen when he was allegedly trying to throw the ball away. Looked to me like he was trying to throw the game. Nope, he isn’t injured, the red faced slackjaw is just a complete and utter wackjob. If Romo or Cutler acted the way that dope who has never won anything of note does, we’d never hear the end of it.

  15. beauregard says: Nov 26, 2011 11:48 AM

    He’s not playing hurt…He just sucks this year. Everyone can have an off year and it’s his turn in the barrel. He’s not making cheap excuses (A la the Raiders and officials) but just keeps trying to snap out of the slump. He’ll be back.

  16. bettis3636 says: Nov 26, 2011 11:53 AM

    ****Meanwhile you have Ben Roethlisberger going out of his way to tell anyone who will listen that his finger hurts.****

    All Ben does is win baby win..!! and win MORE when hes hurt… haha Haters are MOTIVATORS!!

  17. thridandlong says: Nov 26, 2011 11:54 AM

    What is guaranteed, Suh is playing with mental illness, no need for disclosure here.

  18. sterilizecromartie says: Nov 26, 2011 11:54 AM

    Is there any actual evidence here that he is injured outside of him playing poorly? You act like it is impossible for a player to have a “down year” without them being injured.

  19. joetoronto says: Nov 26, 2011 12:18 PM

    He’s decision making has become worse as the season has gone on, some of the throws have have left me scratching my head.

    Having said that, he’s way better than any QB the Donkeys have, that’s for sure.

  20. bradybbgoat says: Nov 26, 2011 1:08 PM

    I’ve had the benefit of watching Rivers quite a bit over the last few years.

    I have been saying that he is injured for the better part of the season. Watch the guy drop back in the pocket and set to throw. He is clearly favoring his back plant leg, one which he coincidentally has a brace on.

    This causes him to arch his back a bit more to take some of the impact off. When he steps up to throw he turns his shoulders, leans forward and basically hops on his front leg. In turn, his release point is even lower than usual and his overall mechanics are way off leading to an increase in mistakes.

  21. 420fan says: Nov 26, 2011 1:09 PM

    Phylis is soft, he wouldn’t play hurt. He might cry and whine, but never play hurt.

    The Sandy Eggo Chargers are soft and will NEVER win with AJ or Norvell, so I’m hoping they stay together forever!

    and come to think of it, ever since that dumb drunk charger fan was found on the old ladies couch passed out, we haven’t heard a peep outta humbolt…hmmm, coincidence?

  22. j0esixpack says: Nov 26, 2011 1:23 PM

    The NFL knows that if they start penalizing teams for not fully disclosing injuries fans may wake up and see that the only beneficiaries are the mafia and those who depend on an accurate Las Vegas line.

    As long as the teams are consistent with whether a player is likely or unlikely to play, I don’t see a problem (indeed, I’d prefer they not disclose injuries lest players target those body parts)

  23. peytonwantsaflag says: Nov 26, 2011 1:28 PM

    for the last several years the media has been making excuses for Rivers, Turner and the Charger in general because they haven’t lived up to the hype they continually place on them at the beginning of the year.

    Face it – they’re not, nor will they ever be as good as you want them to be.

  24. zonedogz says: Nov 26, 2011 1:31 PM

    I knew it when he fumbled that snap!

  25. commandercornpone says: Nov 26, 2011 1:46 PM

    i agree with brady. he hasnt been right for 2 months. all the charger injuries, and timing with wideouts, dont help, but rivers doesnt look right.

  26. CKL says: Nov 26, 2011 1:51 PM

    sterilizecromartie says:
    Nov 26, 2011 11:54 AM
    Is there any actual evidence here that he is injured outside of him playing poorly? You act like it is impossible for a player to have a “down year” without them being injured.
    _________________________________
    Nope, there is no evidence and Rivers himself insists he’s fine. You are correct, sometimes guys just have an off year like when the surrounding team isn’t as good or the scheme requires things they aren’t good at (Vilma in a 3-4 vs 4-3 for example). But that’s not really at play here IMO. A QB who has always been accurate even last year when he had an ensemble cast @ WR doesn’t suddenly lose accuracy overnight without an injury of some kind being a major source of speculation.

    Maybe I’m leaning more towards some sort of physical issue because I know that in 09 for example when Brady was playing hurt and also a little gunshy coming off his knee surgery, he had some truly horrible games. The difference in his usual mechanics and production was HUGE even though his QB rating for the season didn’t accurately reflect it.

  27. stevebozeman says: Nov 26, 2011 2:36 PM

    If Romo were playing like Rivers he would get killed. No one would as “is he injured?” he can’t be that bad. The Chargers aren’t very good. Get over it Peter King.

  28. icantadd says: Nov 26, 2011 2:40 PM

    bradybbgoat is exactly right. In a sense, it is Philip’s decision making, but not because he’s making bad reads; he’s spent the past four years being able to whip passes to his receivers. I’ve watched nearly every game of his professional career and one of his strong points is being able to place a pass before the defender gets there. With his velocity lacking, his passes are taking longer to get to the receiver, which is giving the defender an extra step. He’s not making bad reads, he’s just overestimating his ability to make the throws he has in years past. You combine that with the fact that a shaky O-Line, (which is causing him to rush his passes), and Gates being hurt, (the only consistent target of his career and usual check down), and it’s not hard to see why he’s struggling this year.

    You’re talking about a guy who has had at least 4,000 yards, 28 touchdowns, and a completion percentage of 65% over the past three years. It seems rather suspicious to think his physical skills have simply diminished in just a year. An injury seems to be the most likely reason, but I guess we’ll have to wait a couple more months to be see.

  29. ambitoos says: Nov 26, 2011 2:55 PM

    Rivers is off this year. The same thing has happend to Big Ben in the past and also Tom Brady. Rivers will be fine. I’m more concerned about Ryan Mathews. He continues to fumble and as much as he is hurt, he may not be tough enough for the NFL. Everytime he touches the ball I worry about a fumble or an injury.

  30. bloggingpoodlewalker says: Nov 26, 2011 3:00 PM

    As a Raider fan I admire Rivers for playing hurt, out here we get chicken hearted players like McFaddon who refuses to play at all even barely nicked,..McFaddon isnt hurt, he just refuses to play unless hes 100%, been that way all his football life,..I have never supported this female dog, I only hope the Raiders can get a 5th round pick for her…shes a cancer on the team as now other players barely hurt dont play either,..get rid of her now. I just set you all strait.

  31. fmwarner says: Nov 26, 2011 3:38 PM

    420fan says: Nov 26, 2011 1:09 PM

    Phylis is soft, he wouldn’t play hurt. He might cry and whine, but never play hurt.
    ==================================

    Yeah, except for that time he played the second half of the AFC Championship Game with a torn ACL. Try again.

  32. jagerbolt says: Nov 26, 2011 4:22 PM

    Charger fan here- The “Most Talented Team in the League” is BS – you all can thank the media for that term but it only applied to that 2006 team that went 14-2 and maybe a few years after that (when they actually made noise in the playoffs).

    I think there are only 8-9 players left from that year and many of them are reaching the decline of their careers. On top of that, thanks to several bad drafts this is very much a mediocre team. Plus- Norv Turner, need I see any more.

    As long as Rivers is on the team they’ll have a chance at the big game, but no question about it they need some really good drafts or Rivers risks becoming the next Fouts.

  33. brewcrewfan54 says: Nov 26, 2011 4:24 PM

    People say he’s making bad decisions. Maybe its an injury that’s turning throws he used to make into mistakes this year. Or maybe he’s just lost strength as he’s gotten older and has to adjust his play accordingly.

  34. eaglesnoles05 says: Nov 26, 2011 5:35 PM

    lol zonedogz

  35. eaglesnoles05 says: Nov 26, 2011 5:36 PM

    jagerbolt- exactly.

  36. denverdude7 says: Nov 26, 2011 6:04 PM

    Rivers isn’t playing hurt. His teammates are simply tired of his pouty little boy antics and don’t play as hard for him as in the past.

    Jay Cutler and Eli Manning are in this same group. All 3 have enormous talent. All 3 also show that slump shouldered, kick the dirt and whine, 12 year old. spoiled brat attitude when things don’t go their way.

    Jay, Eli and most of all, Phil need to add a little professionalism to their acts.

  37. firdman7 says: Nov 26, 2011 6:06 PM

    From a Broncos fan- hurt, not hurt, whatever bottom line is that we are soon to be tied for first place in the AFC west when I thought we were done weeks ago. Thanks, Phillip!

  38. backindasaddle says: Nov 26, 2011 6:16 PM

    Rivers probably IS being silent on an injury. That is his prerogative. NFL players are always getting injured. Most choose to play through anything less than a catastrophic injury. If they choose to not disclose it and are still able to play at a decent level, then that’s all fine and good. The key is that they keep their mouth shut about it….and that includes after the season and even until after they retire. Morons like Favre and Cromarti who go blabbing like little school girls after the season do nothing but their teams and the league behind the 8 ball. Either disclose it up front, or forever hold your tongue.

    Brett Favre and Antonio Cromartie are both complete morons.

  39. spellingcops says: Nov 26, 2011 6:26 PM

    jagerbolt says: Nov 26, 2011 4:22 PM

    Charger fan here- The “Most Talented Team in the League” is BS – you all can thank the media for that term but it only applied to that 2006 team that went 14-2 and maybe a few years after that (when they actually made noise in the playoffs).

    I think there are only 8-9 players left from that year and many of them are reaching the decline of their careers. On top of that, thanks to several bad drafts this is very much a mediocre team. Plus- Norv Turner, need I see any more.

    As long as Rivers is on the team they’ll have a chance at the big game, but no question about it they need some really good drafts or Rivers risks becoming the next Fouts.
    —————————————————-
    You mean he’ll grow a beard, have an obnoxiously annoying voice, and call the wrong players involved in the play he’s calling?

  40. brewcrewfan54 says: Nov 26, 2011 7:00 PM

    Denverdude. Quit being hirt that Cutler wanted out of Denver. He’s played well this year. And while Im as ant Bears as anyone can be he’s a pretty tough regardless of what people like you want to believe

  41. dobreshunka says: Nov 26, 2011 7:16 PM

    Marmalard!

  42. denverdude7 says: Nov 26, 2011 7:39 PM

    brewcrewfan54 says:Nov 26, 2011 7:00 PM

    Denverdude. Quit being hirt that Cutler wanted out of Denver. He’s played well this year. And while Im as ant Bears as anyone can be he’s a pretty tough regardless of what people like you want to believe
    ———————————————————-
    Never said he wasn’t tough. I said he was a whining, spoiled little snot nosed brat and I stand by it. Same goes for Rivers. Just watch their reactions after a receiver messes up the route or if they throw a lousy pass. I rest my case.

  43. sowcrates says: Nov 26, 2011 7:41 PM

    I like how somebody pointed out that Philip Rivers playing with injury makes him a more dignified player than Jay Cutler.

    He’s on pace for 24 touchdowns and 27 interceptions, and he has killed his team in a few games so far.

    Playing “tough” through that injury is really helping his team out, maybe Jay Cutler should play through injury and throw 2 picks/game to prove his critics wrong

  44. firdman7 says: Nov 26, 2011 7:55 PM

    Hey brewcrew, I’ll respect your opinion when you learn how to spell “hirt”

  45. purpleisreallypinkyouknow says: Nov 26, 2011 7:55 PM

    3yardsndust says:Nov 26, 2011 11:04 AM

    Rivers is a decent QB with decent talent around him. There’s no other reason why he would suddenly be so consistently bad.
    __________________________________

    Yeah…what he said. I’ve seen it happen to the best of ‘em. No guarantees.

    Signed,
    Brett Favre

  46. mikebyrne1502 says: Nov 26, 2011 8:00 PM

    He is playing hurt this just in “I was hurt after we didn’t make the playoffs last year, my feelings just haven’t been the same when I found out Norv was retained.”

  47. purpleisreallypinkyouknow says: Nov 26, 2011 8:01 PM

    You think it has anything to do with Rivers’ mechanics??

    I’ve seen some strange passing styles over the years in the NFL, but maybe teams have this “throwing like a girl pattern” of his figured out after a few years.

    Marino could throw left-handed now at his age and look better than that.

  48. konichiwabtches says: Nov 26, 2011 8:58 PM

    The guy has 6 kids at home ..SIX!! That right there is enough to make anyone loose it

  49. joemcrugby says: Nov 26, 2011 9:11 PM

    I have no idea whether Rivers and the Chargers are hiding an injury. Perhaps they are, perhaps not.

    Having said that … is ScareCro still whining about the Chargers “hiding” his ‘broke hip’ 3 years later?

    You know, the hip with a 1/8″ crack that appeared 29 times on Rotoworld’s injury report during the course of the 2008 season? If the Chargers were “hiding” the injury, they sure did a piss poor job of it.

    Teams aren’t required to declare the hip being “broke” on an injury report to fulfill their disclosure obligation. All they need to do is identify the body part/joint that’s injured – and the Chargers did that throughout the awful 2008 season where ScareCro first displayed his cowardice in avoiding contact at all costs.

  50. yodelpoo says: Nov 26, 2011 9:12 PM

    denverdude7 says:
    Nov 26, 2011 6:04 PM
    Rivers isn’t playing hurt. His teammates are simply tired of his pouty little boy antics and don’t play as hard for him as in the past.

    Jay Cutler and Eli Manning are in this same group. All 3 have enormous talent. All 3 also show that slump shouldered, kick the dirt and whine, 12 year old. spoiled brat attitude when things don’t go their way.

    Jay, Eli and most of all, Phil need to add a little professionalism to their acts.

    ———————

    Are you on drugs?

  51. yodelpoo says: Nov 26, 2011 9:16 PM

    I don’t think Rivers is hurt, I think it’s more he’s just having an off year and his supporting cast isn’t doing him any favors. It happens.

  52. riverhorsey says: Nov 26, 2011 9:55 PM

    The game plan should of adjusted for his injury then but it didn’t, why?

    Because he wasn’t hurt. Now that he’s playing bad he’s suddenly hurt.

    Frankly unless you’re Tom Brady you’re going to have a bad year or two. Just admit it and go on.

  53. mikehockhurtz says: Nov 26, 2011 11:04 PM

    He’s got a fractured Uterus

  54. jcdavey2011 says: Nov 27, 2011 12:51 AM

    i don’t think he’s playing hurt, he’s just having a really horrible season.

    people dislike him because he’s got an attitude on the field, but off the field, you won’t find a better human being

    people are just finally getting their wish to have something to legitimately rag on him for.

  55. bmoreballbuster says: Nov 27, 2011 1:26 AM

    Injury Report just in from Charger Camp: Ryan Mathews PROBABLE (to Fumble twice)!

  56. blackbeard43 says: Nov 27, 2011 2:34 AM

    @ bloggingpoodlewalker

    As a Raider fan I admire Rivers for playing hurt, out here we get chicken hearted players like McFaddon who refuses to play at all even barely nicked,..McFaddon isnt hurt, he just refuses to play unless hes 100%, been that way all his football life,..I have never supported this female dog, I only hope the Raiders can get a 5th round pick for her…shes a cancer on the team as now other players barely hurt dont play either”

    ————————————————
    You’re an idiot. If these are the results of Rivers playing hurt why would you want DMC to play injured? We all saw how that went in ’08 and ’09, while he had turf toe and a bum knee. In ’10? well we all know how that went (over 1,000 yds rushing), and he still missed a few games. ..Yeah let’s trade him for a 5th. Brilliant idea!

  57. goawayeverybody says: Nov 27, 2011 3:11 AM

    He’s suffering from hubris and the inability to take responsibility for his mistakes.

  58. coachglove says: Nov 27, 2011 2:43 PM

    from what I have seen of him this year, he looks like he is shot-putting the ball, not throwing it. Watch deep passes as they leave his hand. They don’t leave the index finger, they look like they are coming off the palm, which isn’t his normal motion. He is making crappy decisions, but his throws are lacking velocity, especially on deep throws. They are also wildly inaccurate, which could be a sign of an injury as well. I’m guessing he has a shoulder or rib injury.

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