Philip Rivers turned 38 earlier this month, is in the final year of his contract and is struggling through one of the worst stretches of his career.
"I'm capable enough physically and mentally, there's no question," Rivers said, via Eric D. Williams of ESPN. "Yes, I do want to play football. I do, and that's how I feel deep down as I stand here."
Rivers has been visiting the Strugglesville Home for the Elderly a lot this season, generating five games of two-plus interceptions and four games with three or more turnovers. With one game left, he's thrown just 21 TD passes, and barring a five-TD Week 17 explosion, will compile his lowest touchdown figure since his second full season as the starter in 2007.
Rivers cited a "lot of factors" going into this future decision, including his family.
"But I know I can still do it, and I know I can still do it at a high enough level for us to win," he said. "I have not done it well enough this year, but I still do love to play, and love to lead these guys and this team. It's been an array of things that have compounded, to keep us from winning enough games to advance into the tournament."
Rivers' arm strength and accuracy aren't what we're accustomed to seeing from one of the best anticipatory throwers in the league. Far too often, he's chucked and prayed this season. Perhaps part of that is a faulty offensive line, or perhaps his aging arm is beginning to disintegrate.
The 16-year pro doesn't think his play has fallen off that far.
"It's probably human nature when you're 38 and you throw some interceptions in games and they don't go the way you want them to, that it can become, and that's what people say: 'You can't make the throw you used to make' or 'You can't do this' -- arm strength and all of that," Rivers said. "And just none of that is true. I've made some throws this year that have been as good as throws that I've made in any years of my career, but I'm not here to sell that. So physically and what I'm able to do is just what I was able to do last year when we were rolling and having one of our best years. Even in some of these games the last few weeks, we've had some really good plays offensively.
"But that doesn't mean that that's good enough for someone to want you to keep playing, because you have to maintain that consistency throughout games and do enough to win football games, which we haven't done, and I haven't done well enough this year."
The Chargers have a decision to make on whether to bring Rivers back for another season as they move into a new stadium in L.A., or move on to a younger option. The veteran quarterback, likewise, might have to decide whether he wants to relocate to continue his career.