Philip Rivers on reported tension with Chargers' Anthony Lynn: 'Fake news'
Despite the reported disagreement between Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, don’t expect either side to feed the flames. On Saturday, a couple weeks after it was reported that Lynn was blocking Rivers and Antonio Gates from attending LaDainian Tomlinson’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Rivers shot down the idea that he’s feuding with his new coach.
During an interview with Nick Hardwick and Judson Richards of Xtra 1360 Fox Sports Radio, Rivers was asked about any tension with Lynn. He called it “fake news.”
“It’s great,” Rivers said of their relationship, according to ESPN. “It’s been awesome since Day 1. We sat and visited for a long time, way back before we even got close to talking about taking the practice field. And then, shoot, we visit daily, whether it’s on the practice field talking about our guys, talking about this or talking about schedules or talking about that. So it’s been great. I do think that that’s — what’s the term that’s gotten popular? — fake news.”
Lynn, who was hired by the Chargers this offseason after spending the past two season as an offensive assistant in Buffalo, agrees.
“My relationship with Philip is excellent,” Lynn said Friday, per ESPN. “I think someone took some second-hand information and turned it into a story when it never should have been a story. But my relationship with Philip and Antonio is great.”
The original report of possible tension between Lynn and Rivers and Gates surfaced at the end of July, when Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reported that the new coach was blocking his players from the Hall of Fame ceremony so that they wouldn’t miss practice:
Two of LaDainian Tomlinson’s former teammates with the now-Los Angeles Chargers are being blocked from attending the running back’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday.
Two sources told Sporting News that new Chargers coach Anthony Lynn is insisting that quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates instead participate in the team’s first training camp session at the StubHub Center. One source said Gates is considering going, anyway, even if the trip draws a fine.
Gates ended up going, but Rivers remained with the team for practice. According to Lynn, it was Rivers’ own choice — not Lynn’s — to skip the Hall of Fame ceremony.
“Absolutely,” Lynn said. “He wanted to be here with his teammates to go through the whole deal we did at StubHub, and I supported that.”
It’s understandable why a coach wouldn’t want his players to miss a practice, but it’s much more understandable that Rivers and Gates wanted to be there for Tomlinson’s Hall of Fame ceremony. One practice in August doesn’t determine much of anything in the NFL. There’s going to be countless more opportunities for Rivers and Gates, who have both played in the NFL for double-digit years, to practice. Tomlinson’s Hall of Fame induction only happened once.
Thankfully, this appears to mark the end of what was a dumb controversy to begin with — and one that was entirely avoidable.