Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers cleared to play Sunday against the Bills

Chargers quarterbacks Philip Rivers (17) and Kellen Clemens stretch before a workout.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune)

The streak lives. Philip Rivers will make his 195th consecutive start Sunday after the Chargers quarterback was cleared by an independent neurological consultant to play against the Buffalo Bills in StubHub Center.

The 35-year-old veteran, who has not missed a game since taking over as starter in 2006, self-reported concussion symptoms after last Sunday’s 20-17 overtime loss at Jacksonville and was placed in concussion protocol Monday.

Rivers was limited in Wednesday’s practice but was a full participant Thursday and Friday. Coach Anthony Lynn said the quarterback looked “fine, normal, like himself,” Friday. Rivers was subsequently removed from concussion protocol after being examined Friday afternoon.

“People don’t understand the character of this guy,” said veteran tight end Antonio Gates, who has caught 85 of his 112 career touchdown passes from Rivers. “It would take a lot for him to miss a game.”

Rivers, who has completed 194 of 323 passes for 2,263 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, has been one of the most durable players in NFL history. Only three other quarterbacks — Brett Favre (321), Peyton Manning (227) and Eli Manning (220) — have longer consecutive start streaks.


Rivers has played through a torn knee ligament, a bulging disk in his lower back and a bruised rib cage, but this was his first diagnosed concussion.

Linebackers Hayes Pullard (neck) and James Onwualu (quad) are doubtful for Sunday’s game, and defensive end Chris McCain (quad) is questionable. Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle) and running back Mike Tolbert (hamstring) have been ruled out. … Lynn said backup quarterback Kellen Clemens will continue holding for field goals and extra points after assuming those duties from punter Drew Kaser last week. “Kellen held before, when he was with me in New York,” Lynn said, “and I just wanted to take something off Drew’s plate.”

Twitter: @MikeDiGiovanna


4:15 p.m.: This article has been updated with news that Philip Rivers was cleared to play Sunday.

This article was originally published at 3:55 p.m.