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Rivers has shined on Monday Night

Posted Oct 16, 2009

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is 4-0 as a starter on Monday Night Football.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will play in the fifth Monday Night Football game of his career this week when the Chargers host the Broncos and he’d love nothing more than to continue the success he’s enjoyed in the final game of the NFL week. 

In his first four Monday Night games, Rivers has posted a perfect 4-0 record while completing a staggering 70.1 percent of his passes and thrown six touchdowns to just two interceptions. 

“I certainly enjoy it,” Rivers said of MNF.  “I don’t think it’s necessarily why I’ve played well on Monday Night.  You grow up watching Monday Night Football. It’s certainly exciting to get to be a part of it.” 

Rivers’ first career victory took place on Monday Night Football in the 2006 regular-season opener at Oakland.  He repeated the feat five weeks ago as he led the Chargers to a victory in this year’s opener against the Raiders, and he’s also been a part of wins over the Jets (2008) and Broncos (2007) on Monday night.  Rivers believes the stage on which this week’s Chargers-Broncos game will be played makes it even more special. 
“Denver at home on Monday Night with what this game means, it’s going to be something,” Rivers said.  “It’s a division game and we’ve always had a heated rivalry with these guys.  You throw in that they’re 5-0 and we’re 2-2 and Monday night, it couldn’t be much bigger.” 

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson also has a pretty impressive stat line in Monday Night games.  He’s played in six in his career and has scored at least one touchdown in each of them, including a two-touchdown performance last season against the Jets on Monday night. 

Like Rivers, Tomlinson enjoys the aura that comes with playing on Monday night. 

“If you can’t get amped up for Monday Night Football against a division opponent, you’re in the wrong business,” Tomlinson said.  “This is as good as it gets.  This is where you show what type of player you are.  This is where everybody gets to see you.  On Sundays, sometimes people tune into their favorite team.  On Monday night everyone is watching.” 

Cooper, Osgood sit

Linebacker Stephen Cooper (knee) and wide receiver Kassim Osgood (back) didn’t practice Thursday.  The Chargers listed six other players on their injury report, but other than center Nick Hardwick (out, ankle), each of those listed fully participated in practice. 

“Our biggest issue was getting healthy and getting rested from the first month,” Turner said.  “I think we’ve accomplished that.  I think we’ve had good practice this week.  I expect us to be ready to go on Monday night.”

For the Broncos, running back LaMont Jordan (rest) and linebacker Spencer Larsen (shoulder) didn’t practice while running back Correll Buckhalter, who missed last week’s game with an ankle injury, fully participated. 

With the extra day that comes with having a Monday Night game, the Chargers adjusted their schedule this week.  They practiced early Wednesday and players had the afternoon off.  Thursday’s practice was like a Wednesday in a normal week.  The team will practice Friday and Saturday as well before holding a walk-thru  Sunday.

Save the date

Chargers Blood Drive XXXI, presented by the San Diego County Credit Union, will take place at the Town & Country Convention Center on Tuesday, November 24, from 9 am to 7 pm.  Participants will also be able to join the National Marrow Donor Program registry free of charge at this year’s drive.

Charger players will be on hand throughout the day to visit with donors and sign autographs.  

Quick hits

- Rivers comes into Monday’s game with 84 career touchdown passes.  With one more, he’ll tie Stan Humphries for the third-most in team history.

- Darren Sproles became the franchise’s all-time leader in kickoff returns last week in Pittsburgh, and with two yards Monday, he’ll pass Leslie “Speedy” Duncan to become the team’s all-time leader in combined kickoff and punt return yards.

- The Chargers are 2-0 under Turner following byes, with wins over Houston (2007) and Kansas City (2008).

- San Diego’s all-time record on Monday Night Football is 18-13.  The Chargers have won their last four Monday Night games. 

- The Chargers will wear their powder blue throwback jerseys Monday, and this week they’re practicing in the throwback helmets that feature each individual players’ jersey number on the side panel.  

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