Philip Rivers Reveals He Had Leg Amputated Prior To Game
FOXBORO--Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had his leg amputated prior to Sunday’s clash with the Patriots in the AFC conference championship, the team revealed today. Rivers, who played courageously despite his limited mobility, refused to disclose the severity of the injury during the week because “he didn’t want to use it as an excuse.”
“My right knee was totally destroyed and I knew the only option was to get it amputated,” Rivers told the San Diego Tribune. “So I told the team doctor, ‘cut it off.’ The whole thing took about ten minutes on Thursday and then I spent a couple days hopping around like that and it felt okay.
Obviously my mobility was pretty limited, but that’s not an excuse. I wasn’t the only guy out there who was nicked up.”
Unfortunately for Rivers, the amputated leg was his plant leg, so he was unable to generate power behind any of his passes.
“It’s too bad it was my right leg, because I was unable plant it and get that push,” said Rivers. “As a result, some of my passes were a little soft. In addition to that, I couldn’t get out of the pocket and scramble very well on account of I was hopping on one foot. On the bright side, when Richard Seymour went to stomp on my bad leg, there was nothing there! Nice try, *******!”
Rivers’ teammates didn’t know of his amputated leg until just hours before the game. When they saw their crippled quarterback take the field, they were inspired to win the game for him, or at the very least cover the point spread.
“I can’t tell you how emotional it felt to see Philip hopping into the locker room,” said cornerback Quentin Jammer. “At that point, we all huddled together and said ‘let’s win this one for Philip. And if we can’t win, dammit, let’s go out there and cover the point spread.’ And we did just that. I know there’s no such thing as a moral victory, but when you’re quarterback has one leg and you still manage to cover the spread, that’s pretty good. It would have been even more impressive if we had Billy Volek in there.”
It wasn’t just Rivers’ teammates who sung his praises. Members of the Patriots also lauded Rivers for his courage and selflessness. Linebacker Junior Seau, a former Charger, said he didn’t even realize Rivers was playing on one leg until the second quarter.
“Amazing. That’s all I can say,” Seau said after the game. “I had no idea his leg was hurt that bad until I got some pressure on him in the second quarter and noticed he was hopping on one foot. At that point I thought it would be a cakewalk, but it turned into a battle nonetheless. He actually made some pretty good throws out there. A lot of people think being a quarterback is all about the arms, but the legs are just as important because they help you balance.”
Some around the league are criticizing the Chargers’ handling of the injury. Rivers was listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, despite having only one leg. When asked about the discrepancy, coach Norv Turner quickly defended his decision.
“He was listed as a game time decision and we decided at that point that he was ready to go,” Turner said. “We did nothing illegal or underhanded. It’s just a shame that people have to focus on this stuff when they should be focusing on this young man and his unbelievable toughness. I mean, this kid doesn’t have a leg. Without that, you can’t even do that foot-stomp thingie before the snap. Well, you can, but it just looks totally hilarious.”