With the Indianapolis Colts suffering the misfortune that former Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Wentz could miss the beginning of the 2021 NFL season after undergoing foot surgery, it puts the franchise in a tough bind a month out from the start of the campaign.
However, Indianapolis could have another option to add to the mix with recently retired quarterback Philip Rivers teasing he could entertain the idea of returning for another season.
"I'm not quite there," Rivers told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm getting back there. I wouldn't have made weight if I had to report last week, that's for sure. But I am getting back into the lifting and running, and shoot, I occasionally throw a ball around out here in this heat. It's not too hard to get a good lather going.
"I'm just going to stay ready. I want to make sure I'm very clear: I'm not predicting I will play in December or January, for that matter. One, you've got to have somebody who wants you, and two, it's got to be right.
"But I have not completely ruled that out."
With Rivers preparing himself for a possible return, the Colts should certainly bring him back. Here's why.
Comfort Running The Offense
In his lone season with the Colts, Rivers acquitted himself pretty well, including outplaying Bills superstar Josh Allen in the Colts' playoff loss. While Rivers certainly doesn't have the same arm strength he once did, he'd be a clear upgrade over the Colts' current crop of signal-callers.
That's because he has a year under his belt with coach Frank Reich and the Colts. He's extremely comfortable in the offense and could make a nearly seamless transition to taking over if Wentz misses a chunk of the campaign or if he misses time later in the year.
The 39-year-old already holds comfort running the offense that saw him throw for 4,169 yards and 24 touchdown passes last year. His steady play helped push the franchise toward a playoff berth.
The Experience Factor
Beyond that, Rivers holds a plethora of experience of a 17-year NFL career, which each of the other quarterbacks on the Colts roster combines for seven total seasons.
The nine-time Pro Bowler has seen it all throughout his career that could certainly help bring comfort to the rest of the team. There is likely nothing that Rivers hasn’t seen while his presence could be the difference the Colts need to push forward with Wentz out.
Rivers could even potentially operate as a part-time backup this season, similar to how Josh McCown has been used in recent seasons.
Rivers can still coach his high school football team while being "on call" for the Colts, if and when they need him.
Rivers Would Keep The Colts Afloat
If there is one overlying factor that outweighs every other, it's the need to stay in the playoff mix with Wentz sidelined.
The Colts face a gauntlet of a schedule through the first eight weeks of the season as they face the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans (twice), Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, and San Francisco 49ers. Yikes.
Without steady play under center, the Colts could easily fall into the abyss of a team vying for a top-five pick for the 2021 NFL Draft. Rivers would give Indianapolis a chance to at least scrape by with a .500 record through that rough stretch.
In other words, if the Colts want to compete for the playoffs, bringing back Rivers may quickly become a must.
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