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As it turns out, quarterbacks need ACLs

Shutdown Corner

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Philip Rivers is earning praise all over the place this morning, both for his courageous play on zero healthy knees, and for not being a total doucheweed. Here's a sampling of the rather overwhelming plaudits he earned from teammates.

LaDainian Tomlinson:

“We have a lot of respect for Philip because not too many people can do that. Two of them? It's the gutsiest performance that I've ever seen.”

Mike Goff:

“I think people should really back off Philip Rivers because I think that's the gutsiest performance that I've ever been around.”

Luis Castillo:

“Philip Rivers is the most courageous teammate I've ever had; the most courageous guy I've ever seen. For him to go out there and play, nobody will ever comprehend what that means.”

Courageous as he may have been, though, Rivers finished 19-of-37 for 211 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and the lowest quarterback rating of anyone who took a snap yesterday. No disrespect to Rivers, but I wonder if it wouldn't have been a good idea to trot Billy Volek out there for the second half.

I'm not blaming Norv Turner for sticking with Rivers. I'd imagine it would be difficult to pull a guy who's been your quarterback all year long, who's trusted and liked by teammates, and is out there grinding it out through massive pain.

But at a couple of points, it didn't seem like Rivers could completely step into his throws. A few of them -- the second interception in particular -- had all the velocity of a paper airplane chucked by the spectacular guns of Larry King.

Rivers confirmed after the game this his knee is all kinds of gooned up: he's got a partially torn ACL, a sprained MCL, and a need for offseason surgery. Billy Volek is not Dan Fouts, but Billy Volek with two good knees might've given the Chargers a better chance than Philip Rivers sans knees.

• Keeping His Mouth Shut, Rivers Lets His Play Do All of the Talking / New York Times
• Chargers rally 'round 'courageous' Rivers / San Diego Union-Tribune
• Hats off to Rivers for gutsy performance / Providence Journal
• Rivers can hold his head high / Winnipeg Sun
• LT has sprained MCL; surgery for Rivers? / U-T Chargerblog

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