×

Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Philip Rivers retires at age 39 after 17 years in NFL

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Phillip Rivers passes during the first half against the Buffalo Bills in a wild-card playoff game played in Orchard park, N.Y., on Jan. 9. (AP file photo)

INDIANAPOLIS — When Philip Rivers first started tossing footballs as a high-school ball boy, he heaved them any way he could. The throwing motion stuck — and success soon followed.

Rivers used that strange, shot put-like style to land a college scholarship, become a first-round draft pick and eventually string together one of the greatest 17-year careers in NFL history. On Wednesday, the 39-year-old Indianapolis Colts quarterback announced his retirement.

“Every year, Jan. 20 is a special and emotional day,” Rivers said in a statement posted on the team’s website. “It is St. Sebastian’s Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I’m announcing my retirement from the National Football League. Thank you God for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL. I am grateful to the Chargers for 16 seasons, and the Colts for the 17th season.”

Rivers was one of a kind.

Between his trademark throwing style and his penchant for trash-talking without cussing, he carved out his own niche in the NFL.

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, left, holds up his Chargers jersey with coach Marty Schottenheimer at a news conference in San Diego on April 25, 2004. The Chargers traded No. 1 draft pick Eli Manning to the New York Giants for Rivers and future draft picks. On Wednesday, the 39-year-old Rivers announced his retirement. (AP file photo)

There’s no doubt Rivers could sling it.

When he threw for 401 yards and five touchdowns in his second college game, then-Indiana Hoosiers coach and future NFL head coach Cam Cameron proclaimed that the North Carolina State freshman had a future in the NFL.

Rivers didn’t just play in the league — he created a legacy few achieve.

His 240 consecutive regular-season starts was the second-longest streak since 1970, trailing only Brett Favre (297), and it was one of the few stats Rivers cherished.

He was more than just dependable, too.

Rivers won 134 career games — No. 2 among quarterbacks without a Super Bowl ring — and was eighth all-time. Only Tom Brady (230), two-time Super Bowl champs Peyton Manning (186) and Ben Roethlisberger (156), Brees (172) and Hall of Famers Favre (186), John Elway (148) and Dan Marino (147) won more regular-season games than Rivers.

He also finished his career ranked fifth in career completions (5,277), yards passing (63,440) and touchdown passes (421), and as the Chargers’ franchise record-holder in every major passing category.

Newsletter

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
   

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today