Legendary QB Offered to End Retirement to Face Bills in Playoffs: Report

Philip Rivers

Getty Philip Rivers looks to make a pass in a playoff game against the Buffalo Bills.

The Miami Dolphins and third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson nearly pulled off a historic upset against the Buffalo Bills in the playoffs, and now a new report revealed that the Bills could have faced an even bigger challenge against their divisional foe.

The Bills took down the Dolphins in the Super Wild Card round of the playoffs, erasing a second-half deficit and withstanding a stronger-than-expected game from Thompson to win 34-31. A new report from Rich Eisen revealed that the Bills could have avoided the rookie Thompson and instead faced legendary quarterback Philip Rivers, who reached out to the Dolphins after starter Tua Tagovailoa went down with what ended up being a season-ending concussion.

Philip Rivers Considered NFL Comeback

Eisen shared some rumors that he learned in attending the NFL Combine last week, reporting that Rivers contacted the Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers to let them know he was available if they wanted a seasoned quarterback. Both teams ended up digging deep into their quarterback room late in the season, starting third-stringers in the playoffs.

While the Dolphins failed to pull off the upset against the Bills, the 49ers rode undrafted rookie Brock Purdy to the NFC Championship game, where he was also lost to injury as the 49ers fell to the Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams apparently passed on Rivers, who had retired following the 2020 season.

If the Dolphins had taken Rivers up on the offer, it could have given him a chance to avenge his loss to the Bills in what was the final game of his career. The Bills took down Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Wild Card round in January 2021. Though Rivers would not announce his retirement until weeks later, he hinted after the loss that it was his final NFL game.

“It’s always emotional,” Rivers said, via The Associated Press. “But is it more emotional when you’re about to be 40 and you’re not sure if you’ve been in your last huddle? Heck yeah.”

Dolphins Face Uncertain Future at Quarterback

While Rivers could have potentially given the Dolphins a temporary boost at quarterback down the final stretch of the season and in the playoffs against the Bills, Miami could face a more important long-term question at quarterback. With Tagovailoa suffering a pair of concussions last season, some insiders questioned his future in the NFL and there were rumors that the Dolphins were in the market for another quarterback.

Patriots radio broadcaster Scott Zolak said on 98.5 The Sports Hub that he believes Tom Brady could come out of retirement to play for the Dolphins next season.

“Brady may go to Miami. I think that’s in play. I do. I think the possibility of him coming out of retirement is definitely 100% in play,” Zolak said. “You can sit there and look at the kitten tweet from yesterday. Don’t buy that.”

After the playoff loss, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said he is sticking with Tagovailoa once he’s back to full health.

“You guys know how I feel about Tua. That hasn’t changed at all,” McDaniel said. “I think we all see him as the leader of this team. When it’s appropriate for him to lead the team, we’ll jump on that opportunity. He’s a great player with only improvement in front of him as well.”