Cutler and Rivers won't be teammates after all

January, 21, 2009
1/21/09
9:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

One of the Pro Bowl sideshows I was most looking forward to seeing was AFC West rivals Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler on the sideline together as Pro Bowlers.

That show will have to wait at least another year. Rivers is out of the game because of knee soreness that is not expected to hinder his offseason work for the Chargers. When Brett Favre of the Jets bowed out with a shoulder injury, Rivers was named to the team because he was the No. 1 alternate. Tennessee's Kerry Collins replaced Favre and Rivers.

Rivers was long expected to be an AFC quarterback along with the Colts' Peyton Manning and Cutler because of Favre's injury. It would have been interesting to see how Cutler and Rivers interacted during the week leading up to the game.

The two have been rivals for more than a year. They engaged in an on-field spat in San Diego in 2007 and Cutler has publicly said he disliked Rivers.

They two had a lukewarm handshake before the Chargers' winner-takes-the-division game against Denver in San Diego on Dec. 28. After the game, Rivers said Cutler "was great and everything is good."

I get the feeling the animosity between the two quarterbacks is as deep as many believe. Perhaps a week together would have brought the two closer. Cutler and Rivers will likely have plenty of Pro Bowl time together in the future. Both players are among the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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