LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – Former longtime Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers announced Wednesday he is retiring from the NFL.
The 39-year-old, who spent all but one of his 17 seasons with the team that drafted him back in 2004, told the San Diego Union-Tribune late Tuesday night that he is retiring to go coach high school football.
"Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day. 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," he said in a statement released through the Indianapolis Colts. "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 spent his first 16 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers after being acquired in a draft-day trade that sent the top overall pick, Eli Manning, to the New York Giants in 2004.
He played this last season with the Colts, leading them to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth. They lost in the first round in a nail-biter to the Buffalo Bills.
While Rivers never played in a Super Bowl, it was one of the few glaring omissions on an otherwise remarkable resume. He spent his first two years in San Diego backing up Drew Brees before taking over as the starter when Brees left in free agency.
Over the next 15 years, Rivers never missed another game, starting all 252 including the playoffs. His 252 consecutive games are second all-time among quarterbacks to only Green Bay Packers legend Brett Favre.
Rivers won 134 career games — No. 2 among quarterbacks without a Super Bowl ring — and is 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 Brett Favre (186), John Elway (148) and Dan Marino (147) won more regular-season games.
Rivers also finished his career ranked fifth in career completions (5,277), yards passing (63,440) and touchdown passes (421).
Last summer, he accepted the head coaching job at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Alabama, where he hopes to coach his sons — just like his father coached him.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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