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Suspicions persist that Rivers is playing hurt

Chargers quarterback Rivers throws a pass while being pressured by Chicago Bears' Peppers in their NFL football game in Chicago

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws a pass while being pressured by Chicago Bears’ Julius Peppers (R) in the second half of their NFL football game in Chicago, Illinois, November 20, 2011. The Bears won the game 31-20. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)


During last night’s episode of NBC SportsTalk, Peter King predicted that, after the season ends, we’ll learn that Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers played for most if not all of the season with a previously concealed injury. Adam Schefter of ESPN echoed that sentiment this morning, pointing out that people around the league believe Rivers is playing hurt.

But Rivers has denied it, and the team hasn’t supplied any injury information on its various reports.

Of course, the hiding of injuries by NFL teams isn’t uncommon. Earlier this year, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie claimed that the Chargers failed to disclose that he had a fractured hip in 2008.

The league rarely nails a team for hiding injuries, absent glaring evidence that forces the NFL’s hand. For example, when then-Vikings quarterback Brett Favre talked consistently about his undisclosed late-season arm injury during his only year with the Jets, the league office eventually had no choice but to hand out fines.

So, basically, if Rivers and the Chargers are hiding an injury, it’s highly unlikely that anything will be done unless Rivers intentionally or accidentally confesses.