As the face of the franchise, Philip Rivers served as one of the spokespersons for the San Diego Chargers’ failed stadium effort in November.
Whether he plays well or not, Rivers is out in front of reporters, providing sometimes painfully honest evaluations of himself and the team.
The veteran quarterback has had to deal with a rash of injuries that have severely limited his ability to consistently move San Diego’s offense.
And on Sunday, Rivers dealt with one of the most embarrassing moments in franchise history -- being booed and having to consistently use the silent count on his own field as Oakland Raiders fans took over Qualcomm Stadium in Oakland’s come-from-behind victory over the Chargers.Auburn Tigers Custom Sport Pullover Hoodie Navy
“I’m sure it’s frustrating for Philip to have to go in that situation and deal with that because it’s not how it should be,” said San Diego safety Dwight Lowery, who referred to 2016 as a lost season for the Chargers. “Everything he’s meant to this organization and this city, it’s unfortunate that a quarterback of his caliber has to go through those things.”
To his credit, Rivers did not use the unique environment as an excuse for his play.
“It was a road game,” Rivers said. “In Oakland, it was the same. I appreciate the fans that did come out -- the Chargers fans -- I appreciate them. It was just more people than in Oakland, but it was similar. We were ready for it and embraced it.”
Rivers also acknowledged that the past two years with the organization dealing with the stadium issue have been hard.
San Diego has won a combined nine games the past two seasons. The Chargers have been in most every game, but have found inventive ways to lose in what seems like every week.
“It’s just been two tough seasons -- obviously two of the toughest in my 13 years,” Rivers said. “There was a stretch there where we were 8-8 or better for a long time. These last two have been tough and we’ve had a lot of tough, home losses. Obviously, there are some other things going on as well.”
The “other things” appear to be the eventual relocation of the franchise to Los Angeles.
While players say in public that the constant talk about moving has no effect on their play, privately they can’t help but follow the daily speculation because it directly plays a role in where their families will live and children will go to school next year.
And no matter how much they try to prevent it, those external factors will seep into their daily preparation for games, creating more anxiety in what already is a pressure-packed environment.cheap nfl jerseys,
With two games left and no chance of reaching the postseason, Rivers said that he and his teammates still have something to play for -- each other.
“We’ll find out about guys,” Rivers said. “You’re always playing for the obvious reasons. But to me, you’re playing for the respect of your peers in the locker room, because if you lose that it’s hard to regain. So I think that’s what we’ll find out.”
Added outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel: “There’s adversity when you’re not necessarily playing for playoffs or things like that. What are you going to do? How are you going to prepare? Are you going to keep playing hard? I have no doubt guys on this team will do that.”