COSTA MESA, Calif. — Quarterback Philip Rivers has been cleared from concussion protocol by an independent neurological consultant and is set to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, the Los Angeles Chargers said Friday.
Rivers was a full participant for the second straight practice Friday. He’s officially questionable on the injury report.
“He’s done more and more every day in practice, so that’s encouraging,” coach Anthony Lynn said Friday, before Rivers was cleared.
Rivers, who turns 36 next month, has been one of the most durable quarterbacks in NFL history. His streak of 194 straight starts is the second-longest active run behind the New York Giants‘ Eli Manning (220).
Rivers famously played with a torn ACL in the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots after the 2007 regular season. Rivers also played through a chest injury and a bulging disk in his back during the 2014 season.
“People don’t understand the character of this guy,” Chargers tight end Antonio Gates said. “It would take a lot for him to miss a game. Something like this he maybe could miss because you have your wife and kids and all of those kinds of things to concern yourself with, along with the fact you can never really determine what’s really happening when it comes to concussions, as opposed to another injury. So this is a very unique situation. So I think we’re prepared for the worst, but we’re obviously hoping he’ll be ready to play.”
If Rivers couldn’t go, Kellen Clemens would get his first start since joining the Chargers in 2014.
The last time Clemens started was in 2013 for the then-St. Louis Rams. He went 4-5 that season and has an 8-13 record as a starter during his 12-year NFL career.
Clemens said Friday he has gotten more reps than normal in practice this week.
“It just doesn’t change,” he said. “If I changed my approach this week, then I haven’t been doing my job as the backup quarterback. If I changed anything I was doing and how I was preparing, then I’ve been cheating this team all year.”