Rivers gets veteran rest day from McCoy

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers didn’t practice on


Chargers fans shouldn’t hit the panic button. Rivers was just

getting a veteran rest day from rookie coach Mike McCoy.

”I guess it is good and it is tough for me – I hate watching,”

Rivers said. ”But it was good. You usually get one or so every

training camp. We kind of mapped out and picked this day. I fought

it for as long as I could.”

The Chargers have been decimated by injuries this summer, and

the sight of Rivers donning a baseball cap instead of a helmet

during drills came with an unsettling feeling.

Rivers will lead the offense on Saturday night when the Chargers

visit Arizona.

What’s not as clear is how long Rivers will be under center. He

played in just three series in last week’s loss at Chicago.

The third exhibition game is the one when starters usually play


The secretive McCoy is refusing to divulge how long his starters

will play.

”I will let you know Saturday,” McCoy said. ”You guys asked

me a couple of times but it is more of a gut feel of how we are

doing, how things are going, what’s the situation of the game.

”I don’t want to say it’s a half, it’s this or that. I will

have a gut feel on Saturday night of saying, `Hey this is where I

think we want to pull these players.”’

Rivers, who was sacked an AFC-high 49 times last year, was

pushed around with regularity in his short stint in Chicago and was

sacked three times.

So if the Chargers’ revamped offensive line is putting McCoy’s

quarterback in harm’s way, maybe his playing time will be


”We will see how it is going Saturday night and we will go from

there,” McCoy said.

Rivers, the football equivalent of a gym rat, always loves to

play. That’s what made sitting out Wednesday so challenging. But

giving way to backup Charlie Whitehurst has some benefits.

”My arm has felt good all camp, but it was probably good to

take a day off of throwing,” Rivers said. ”And I know it’s good

for Charlie to get in there and play with the guys he would be

playing with if he gets in there. So it has a lot of


But wasn’t it like his teammates got to go out to recess and he


”It wasn’t that bad,” Rivers said, with a smile. ”I’m still

heavily involved as you can imagine.”

How active some of the Chargers’ mending players will be is a

mystery. But it’s clear rookie linebacker Manti Te’o won’t play as

he remains in a walking boot and hasn’t practiced since spraining

his right foot in the preseason opener.

McCoy won’t say if defensive end Corey Liuget will play Saturday

night. He was pulled from last week’s game with a shoulder


”You’ll see on Saturday,” McCoy said.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org