Last week, the condition of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers’s back was a cause for concern in San Diego after Rivers missed some practice time and a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN that Rivers had a more severe back injury than the team had let on.
For the first half of Saturday’s game, it looked like San Diego’s confidence that Rivers could play well despite the injury might have been wrong. Rivers threw two picks to continue a recent trend of spotty play and the 49ers led 28-7 at the break, but things looked different by the end of the game. Rivers led the Chargers back for a 38-35 overtime win that saw him throw for 356 yards and four touchdowns to keep the Chargers alive and kicking in the playoff race.
That won’t put his back issues to rest, however. Schefter’s colleague Chris Mortensen reports that Rivers’s injury is a bulging disk in his lower back and that the quarterback may need to have surgery to repair the condition.
Any surgery won’t come until after the season, though, and Rivers’s performance on Sunday is the latest sign that he isn’t likely to come out of the lineup before the Chargers run out of chances to play games.