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Austin Ekeler Reacts To The Philip Rivers Retirement News

Austin Ekeler runs the football for the Chargers.

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs after his catch during a 21-16 Carolina Panthers win at SoFi Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Over 17 NFL seasons, Philip Rivers has had a lot of teammates, nearly all of whom have nothing but respect for him. But one of his former teammates, Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler, had an especially strong reaction to Rivers' retirement.

Per Chargers beat writer Gilbert Manzano, Ekeler credited Rivers for helping to jump-start his career during their time in LA. Ekeler called Rivers "a legend" and had an interesting theory as to why he played in 2020.

"I’m convinced he played one more year just to play 17 years,” Ekeler said. "The man is a legend.”

Ekeler played his first three seasons in Los Angeles after going undrafted out of Western State in 2017. He quickly proved to be a reliable target out of the backfield for Rivers, averaging 1,000 yards from scrimmage and recording 22 touchdowns during their time together.

Philip Rivers took over as the Chargers' starter in 2006 after backing up Drew Brees for his first two seasons. From his first start in 2006 until his final start for the Colts this past year, Rivers never missed a game.

During his 15 years as a starter, Rivers started 240 games, making eight Pro Bowls and leading the NFL in every major passing category at least once.

Rivers led the Chargers to the playoffs six times, including the AFC Championship Game in 2007. But he never made it to the Super Bowl.

Whether he gets a spot in Canton on the first ballot or not, he leaves behind an incredible legacy with the Chargers.