Colts Quarterback Philip Rivers has announced his retirement after 17 seasons. The announcement comes shortly after Indianapolis was eliminated from the playoffs in the Wild Card round. Rivers — a Roman Catholic — told ESPN that he wanted to retire on January 20 in honor of the feast day of St. Sebastian, who is often regarded as the patron saint for athletes.
Rivers of course spent only one season in Indianapolis, having played the majority of his career with the San Diego, and later Los Angeles, Chargers. After being selected fourth overall by the Chargers in the 2004 NFL Draft, Rivers spent two years on the bench behind Drew Brees. After Brees signed with the Saints following the 2005 season, Philip Rivers took over and spent the next 14 years under center.
Remarkably, Philip Rivers was healthy and started in every single game over his 15-year career as a starter. All told, Rivers started 240 consecutive games from 2006 through 2020. Only Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre has more consecutive starts at quarterback than Rivers with 297.
As a result of this remarkable durability, Philip Rivers will retire while holding just about every major passing record for the Chargers. This includes most passing yards with 59,271, most passing touchdowns with 397, most quarterback wins with 124 and most games played with 227. As far as the NFL as a whole goes, only four players have thrown for more passing yards than Rivers. There are active players who will probably surpass him, such as Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Rothlisberger, but Rivers should remain among the top 10 all time in passing yards for quite some time. Rivers is in the same position in regards to passing touchdowns, currently fifth all time with 421 touchdowns thrown.
Philip Rivers will certainly be a genuine Hall of Fame candidate going forward and he ultimately probably will get in thanks to his consistency and subsequent career totals.