After another costly interception from San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, head coach Norv Turner was asked if he’d consider sitting his starting quarterback.
Turner had benched running back Ryan Mathews and wide receiver Robert Meachem for struggles during the season, the question was, would Turner do the same to Rivers.
According to Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press, Turner shot down any thought of benching Rivers.
”The thing about Philip is there’s no one who works harder at it, there’s no one who cares more about it, there’s no one who tries harder,” Turner said. ”He wouldn’t be going out there and completing 82 percent of his passes over the last two weeks if he wasn’t spending an unbelievable amount of time in his preparation and helping other guys prepare. He obviously is trying as hard as he can to go win and in a couple of those cases he’s trying to do too much. It’s not 20 plays. It’s one or two plays in two or three of the games.”
Turner wasn’t the only one standing behind Rivers. Tight end Antonio Gates backed the sentiments of his coach. Rivers and Gates have connected for 53 touchdowns in their nine years together in San Diego — an NFL record for a quarterback-tight end tandem. According to the team’s official site, Gates was also adamant in his support of Rivers.
“One thing about playing quarterback in this league is that you definitely take all the heat, and I can tell you this, he’s the first person in here and he’s the last person to leave,” Gates said. “There’s not another person on this team or in this league that I would rather play with besides Philip, because I can depend on him and I know I can count on him.”
The Chargers may have one final chance to revitalize their season Sunday as they travel to play the division-leading Denver Broncos. A win would get the Chargers within a game of the division lead while a loss would drop San Diego to 4-6 and give the Broncos a three-game cushion with both head-to-head victories on the season.