Can Old Man Rivers return?
That may be the case after a report Tuesday suggested the Colts had discussed a reunion with Philip Rivers. Indianapolis starter Carson Wentz was placed on the COVID-19 bench on Tuesday and could miss Sunday’s game against the Raiders, leading to a quarterback conundrum and calls for Rivers to retire with Colts in the long run of the playoff race.
Athletic’s Zak Keefer said the Colts had “discussed” the option.
Colts needs to call Philip Rivers. Heard it’s being discussed.
– Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) December 28, 2021
Rivers, who retired after the 2020 season, left the door open for a return to the NFL should the right circumstances arise. As the high school football season ends – Rivers is coaching at St. Michael in Alabama – this could give the Colts a chance to reunite with Rivers.
The Colts, who are making a playoff spot, currently sit in fifth in the AFC, but it’s a precarious position: Win this Sunday and they’ll be in. If they lose one or both of their remaining games, they will be in a play-off, the odds will drop drastically.
What we know: Like all players who test positive, Wentz is currently on a 90-day test break and is therefore not in danger of missing any more games through Super Bowl LVI.
– Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 28, 2021
The timing for Rivers to qualify for play this Sunday, a Week 17 home game against the Raiders, is tight: Rivers will have to test negative twice and enter a five-day testing period before begin. That leaves little room for practice, assuming Rivers, the veteran, will need it.
If the Colts don’t make the final move for Rivers, the team will turn to sixth-round rookie pick Sam Ehlinger to start.
Ehlinger has appeared in three games this year in mopping duty, only trying to get through three times. He was a pre-season standout and won the QB2 job in 2021.
Indianapolis signed Rivers to a one-year contract as a veteran backstop in 2020 before the trade for the Eagles quarterback was billed as Wentz. Wentz had an uneventful first season at Indy, with the support of MVP contender Jonathan Taylor.
Now, it looks like a much shorter-term stop could be made.