The San Diego Chargers franchise is a prime candidate for relocation, which means Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins could be the final time Philip Rivers plays in front of the local crowd.
ESPN’s Eric D. Williams notes Rivers said he’s considered the notion and might get emotional on the drive to Qualcomm Stadium.
“I’ll probably soak it in on the drive over there a little more than that past hundred-something times I’ve done it before a game. Because I could get emotional thinking about it, riding down that hill for the last time in this stadium.”
Rivers has spent each of his 12 NFL seasons with the Chargers, who have played in San Diego since 1961, starting at Balboa Stadium and moving to what is now known as Qualcomm in 1967.
The 34-year-old gunslinger has guided San Diego to five playoff appearances as well as one AFC Championship. Rivers ranks No. 2 in franchise history with 40,361 career passing yards and No. 1 with 275 touchdowns.
Although his accomplishments mean little in 2015 because the team is 3-10, Rivers said earning a win on Sunday would be either a great sendoff for the stadium or simply a good home finale for a struggling squad.
“Once you get there and you’re playing, you’re just trying to win a game. And if it were to be, you want to end it in a win. And if it’s not, you still want to end it with a win, the way this year has gone.”
Houston Texans owner Bob McNair recently suggested the Chargers and Oakland Raiders are the favorites for a move to Los Angeles, so Rivers and his teammates very well may be approaching their final game in San Diego.
The Chargers have stumbled through the 2015 season, but Rivers has some excellent memories in San Diego. Leaving home is rarely easy — especially if you’re not sure you’ll back.