Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers knows what’s at stake in Week 17. If the Colts can’t find a way to make it to the postseason, Rivers knows Sunday could be his final game in the NFL.
That doesn’t mean Rivers, 39, is ready to retire. He wants to continue his career following the 2020 NFL season, but knows he’s not guaranteed that opportunity.
To be clear, he followed up by saying he does not intend this to be the end. But he's an honest guy and knows it's a business and recognizes his age.
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) December 30, 2020
Despite his age, Rivers hasn’t shown a ton of decline this season. In 15 games, he’s thrown for 4,005 yards, with 23 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He’s also led the Colts to a 10-5 record, proving he still has some ability left in the tank.
What will it take for the Colts to make the playoffs?
Rivers can put off those thoughts with a win — and some help — in Week 17. There are a number of scenarios that would push the Colts into the postseason. The team can still win the AFC South with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, but only if the Tennessee Titans lose or tie against the Houston Texans.
If the Colts don’t win the AFC South, they can still secure a postseason spot if they win and one of the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins or Cleveland Browns lose or tie in Week 17.
Will Philip Rivers play an NFL game in 2021?
At this point in his career, Rivers isn’t a long-term option for a team. But in the right situation, he can still thrive as a starter. He proved all of that with the Colts this season.
If the Colts don’t want to bring Rivers back, it’s possible he’ll hook on with another team that doesn’t need him to play the hero every week. While the possibility of a massive decline is going to be a fear with a player entering his 40s, both Tom Brady and Drew Brees have played well in recent seasons.
Rivers should get a chance to prove he’s still a capable player, but his margin for error will be much smaller, especially if a young, highly touted draft pick is sitting behind Rivers on the depth chart.
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