Philip Rivers was a workhorse for the San Diego Chargers from 2006-2012 because he started all of their 119 games during this time including a playoff game in which he played with a torn ACL. If Rivers starts all 16 games for San Diego in 2013, his streak will rank fourth in NFL history for quarterbacks.
Rivers has a 70-42 record in his career and his 94.5 career quarterback rating ranks fifth among active players. The Chargers have a 24-24 record since the 2009 season, so an injury to Rivers would be critical.
Charlie Whitehurst is the only backup QB on San Diego’s roster and he has a 1-3 record in his career with three touchdowns and four interceptions. In 2011, the Indianapolis Colts saw what happens when a team is unprepared for an injury to its quarterback when Peyton Manning did not play due to injury and they had a 2-14 record.
The Chicago Bears had a 17-7 record in games that Jay Cutler started and finished over the last two seasons while they are 1-7 when he does not start and finish a game.
In 2008, the New England Patriots were one of the few teams in recent memory that were fortunate enough to win games without their starting quarterback. Tom Brady was injured in Game 1 of the 2008 NFL season and New England had a 10-5 record without him, but missed the playoffs due to a tiebreaker.
Whitehurst could be a No. 3 QB, but he should not be the number two because he was not good enough to start over Tarvaris Jackson in 2011 when Jackson had a 10-10 career record with 24 TDs and 22 INTs.
There are not many free agent quarterbacks left to bring in which is an issue that management should have addressed, so it appears as that Whitehurst will keep his job as San Diego’s N0. 2 QB.
I expect San Diego to select a guy to be the No. 3 QB in April’s draft, but the Lightning Bolts will still be in trouble if Rivers suffers an injury in 2013.