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Redskins' Kirk Cousins calls NFL ironman Philip Rivers 'The Terminator'

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- “I’ll be back.”

That was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature in his role as a cyborg assassin in “The Terminator.”

Mayhem ensued, but true to his word, Schwarzenegger usually returned.

Well, Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins used that analogy to describe Los Angeles Chargers counterpart Philip Rivers, who’s scheduled to make his 189th consecutive start Sunday, taking over as the active leader after the New York Giants benched Eli Manning in Week 13, ending his streak at 210.

“It would be hard to say what I respect because there’s so much,” Cousins said of Rivers, who's started every Chargers game since 2006. “It would be a long list. I respect, first of all, his longevity. He’s like ‘The Terminator,’ man. He just says, ‘I’ll be back.’ No matter what happens, injuries, adversity around him, coaching changes, roster changes, he just keeps coming back, and his production has never really wavered.

“He stays healthy. He’s tough. He competes no matter what. Quick release, accurate, strong arm, great feet in the pocket, seems to elevate the play of the guys around him. Very intelligent, calls a lot of the game at the line of scrimmage himself, handles protections well. I can go on and on with what he does, and I think a lot of the traits he possesses are what I’m trying to develop in myself.”

Rivers, 35, said he appreciated the compliment from Cousins, and that the two have met a handful of times, most recently at the Pro Bowl earlier this year.

“He’s a heck of a player,” Rivers said of the 29-year-old Cousins. “He’s having a really good season. Again, you mention some of the injuries, but there’s a lot of things for why you end up maybe not being right where you want to be this year.

“But he’s had another really good season. You pull for a guy like that. He worked like crazy to get a shot, and he got it and he’s kept it, and he seems to have really a lot of his career ahead of him.”

Rivers described Cousins as scrappy with the way he plays the game. However, Rivers said he has not seen any of the “The Terminator” movie series. “I’m not a big movie guy,” Rivers said. “I like things live or true stories.”