Philip Rivers open to returning to NFL late in the season: 'I'm just going to stay ready'

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Longtime NFL quarterback Philip Rivers has already moved on to a different aspect of the game, just months after he retired from the league.

The 39-year-old is working as a high school football coach in Alabama, and is admittedly not in playing shape anymore.

Yet should he be needed, Rivers said Tuesday that he’s open to making a late-season comeback.

"I’m just going to stay ready,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “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.

“But I have not completely ruled that out.”

Could Rivers return to the Colts?

Rivers spent 16 seasons in the league with the Chargers and one final year with the Indianapolis Colts before he retired after last season.

The eight-time Pro Bowler threw for more than 63,000 yards and 421 touchdowns in his NFL career, both the fifth-most in league history. He had 12 seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards (only Peyton Manning has recorded more). 

Rivers will likely be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Rivers is now the head coach at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Alabama. He’s not trying to make an NFL roster now, or in time for the start of the season. But if it works out, he said, he’s more than willing to jump back in.

The Colts could end up needing him again. Colts quarterback Carson Wentz needs foot surgery to correct an injury he suffered at practice last week, coach Frank Reich said Monday, and will be out 5-12 weeks.

Before he can even think about that, though, Rivers knows he has to get back into shape first.

“I’m not quite there,” Rivers told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m getting back there. I wouldn’t have made weight if I had to report last week, that’s for sure. But I am getting back into the lifting and running, and shoot, I occasionally throw a ball around out here in this heat. It’s not too hard to get a good lather going.”

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers last played for the Indianapolis Colts, who just lost quarterback Carson Wentz for at least several weeks with a foot injury. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

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