Los Angeles Chargers  

 

Chargers might bench Philip Rivers if poor play continues

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Over the past two games, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has thrown a total of seven interceptions. When it comes to turnovers, it's the worst pair of games in his career, both in losses.

As Los Angeles prepares for a critical game against the Denver Broncos -- who are starting rookie quarterback Drew Lock -- sources say that if Rivers offers a repeat poor performance, he could get benched. It is a move the Chargers hope to not think about and hope to not make.

But if Rivers' play warrants, they will insert backup Tyrod Taylor. It won't be a quick hook. Still, to make the playoffs, the Chargers may need to win out, and while such a move would be jarring, it will be made, if necessary.

Rivers has talked with coach Anthony Lynn several times since their last game, and he knows his production has to be better. Lynn and the coaches evaluated everyone during the bye week and came out thinking "it's not just one guy why we're 4-7." He said Rivers knows he can't keep turning the ball over, but everyone is going to be evaluated.

That said, while Rivers has been interception-prone recently, Lynn does not want him looking over his shoulder as if he'll come out with one pick. He doesn't want him playing not to lose. He wants the same carefree Rivers who has thrived so often.

Lynn said as much publicly this week.

"Obviously, there's a fine line there," Lynn said. "You still want to be aggressive throwing the football, but at the same time, make smarter decisions."

The team is also cognizant that interceptions aren't always the quarterback's fault. And there won't be one factor or outcome that leads to a move as drastic as pulling a franchise starter. Lynn believes that won't come up.

"I don't plan on having to make that decision," Lynn said this week. "I plan on us going and playing our tails off this weekend and getting back in that win column. ... Most great athletes, they respond well. I believe Philip is going to respond well."

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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