NFL News & Analysis

Former Colts quarterback Philip Rivers isn’t ruling out an NFL return

Paradise, Nevada, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) gestures at the line of scrimmage in the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Just seven months removed from announcing his retirement, former Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers is already discussing a return to the NFL.

LA Times’ Sam Farmer tweeted Tuesday that Rivers is still prioritizing his first year coaching at Alabama’s St. Michael Catholic High School, but he isn’t ruling out a return to the league late in the 2021 NFL season. 

“I’m just going to stay ready,” Rivers told Farmer. “I want to make sure I’m very clear: I’m not predicting I will play in December or January, for that matter. One, you’ve got to have somebody who wants you, and two, it’s got to be right.”

Rivers ranked 17th among qualifying NFL quarterbacks in PFF grade (79.2) in his 2020 campaign with the Colts. He completed 397-of-590 passes for 4,478 yards, 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 17 games, including a 309-yard, two-touchdown performance in a Wild Card Round loss to the Buffalo Bills. 

FANTASY IMPACT

Rivers’ Fantasy Value: Rivers wasn’t anything more than a streamer in 2020 and wouldn’t be expected to achieve more in 2021.

Colts Running Backs:  Still, his history of enabling fantasy-friendly running backs would be a welcome sight for both Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines in an offense suddenly searching for some sense of stability. 

Colts Receivers: The receiving corps remains fairly muddled either way, but we can all still agree that old man Rivers is a better bet under center for enabling Michael Pittman & Co. than the current edition of Jacob Eason.

BETTING IMPACT

Similar Win Totals: Bookmakers set a similar win total for both the 2020 led Rivers team and the 2021 Carson Wentz version. Expect a half-point uptick to the Colts’ win total if the rumors of a Rivers return come to fruition.

Wentz vs. Rivers: Wentz and Rivers have essentially the same spread points over replacement at this point in their careers. 

AFC South Division Winner Odds: No matter what move the Colts decide on, they won’t overtake the Titans as favorites in the AFC South before the season begins.

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