- Aug 18, 2005
SAN DIEGO ---- A certain Charger doesn't want to become Old Man Rivers waiting his turn.
"I love it here,'' quarterback Philip Rivers said. "But I want to play. I would rather play and be a starter somewhere else if I can't do it here.''
Rivers is talking about the future. The present shows him backing up Drew Brees for the second of Rivers' two years in the NFL.
But by year three, the fourth pick of the 2004 draft wants a team to call his own ---- wherever that might be.
"Everything is fine right now,'' said Rivers, who played briefly in two games last season. "It's only my second year and the learning curve is still going up. And this is a great working environment.
"But I would hope at the end of this year they will make it clear which one of us is the quarterback of the future. I'm not saying he's not the quarterback of the San Diego Chargers right now; he has every right to be. I just think both of us would like to know, looking at it long-term.''
Chargers general manager A.J. Smith is in no hurry to make such a decision.
"Players can say whatever they want,'' Smith said. "Players can speak their own mind. But we'll let you all know at the end of the year who the Chargers will be in '06.''
Smith also said he's received no calls regarding Rivers' availability before the Oct. 18 trading deadline. Rivers said his agent, Jimmy Sexton, hasn't heard of anyone inquiring about Rivers.
"That would probably come in the spring,'' Rivers said.
Would Rivers request a trade next year if the Chargers retain Brees?
"I'm really not in the position to do that right now,'' he said. "But let's see what happens.''
Left guard Toniu Fonoti, who has lost his starting job to Kris Dielman, was absent from practice.
Team officials said Fonoti was getting a second opinion on his broken right hand. He recently underwent surgery on it, but isn't pleased with the healing progress.
Coach Marty Schottenheimer said he expects Fonoti to attend today's practice.
In a jam
Cornerback Quentin Jammer didn't practice as he nursed a strained quad he suffered in Wednesday's workout.
"It's precautionary,'' Schottenheimer said about Jammer not practicing.
Added Jammer: "I'll be fine for Sunday. Shoot, I'll be fine by (today).''
OLB Steve Foley (abdominal strain) and TE Ryan Krause (foot) didn't work. Foley is listed as questionable, but will probably go on Sunday. If not, Shaun Phillips gets his first NFL start. ... With Quentin Jammer ailing, Jamar Fletcher ran with the first unit. ... The team practices this morning, then departs for New England. It's the first of five Chargers road trips this season that are three time zones away.