Philip Rivers set for 211th straight start with other 2004 first-round QBs out of action

Josh Alper
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger have always shared a link by virtue of when and where they were drafted.

All three quarterbacks came into the NFL in 2004 and Manning was selected by the Chargers with the first overall pick. He was quickly traded to the Giants for a package that included Rivers, who was selected fourth overall, and Roethlisberger went to the Steelers with the 11th pick.

The trio has seen great success and longevity over their years as starters in the NFL, but this week will mark a major change for the group. Manning has been benched and Roethlisberger is out for the season with an elbow injury, which leaves Rivers as the only one still leading his offense.

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The start will be the 211th in a row for Rivers, which moves him past Manning for the second-longest consecutive start streak by a quarterback. Head coach Anthony Lynn marveled at that durability this week while also noting how fragile it can be.

“It feels good, but you just never know,” Lynn said, via ESPN.com. “He [could be] just one hit away, but he has avoided that his whole career. That’s one of the things that I really loved about him coming here, was his availability. The guy shows up and he’s there for you every single week.”

With players like Derwin James, Hunter Henry, Adrian Phillipss and Russell Okung missing from the lineup, having a healthy and capable Rivers is as important as ever for the Chargers.

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