Coach: Philip Rivers will play Sunday

SAN DIEGO -- Although he is dealing with a bulging disk in his back, the expectation remains that San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will play in his team's final regular-season game, on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs.

That's what Chargers coach Mike McCoy told reporters Monday.

"Everyone has had some form of injury that they deal with at some point of time during the year," McCoy said. "Philip will play on Sunday."

ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen reported that, according to team sources, Rivers is playing with a bulging disk in his lower back that doctors fear is on the brink of being herniated.

Rivers did not practice on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week in order to rest the injury. After Saturday's win against the San Francisco 49ers, Rivers said he felt better in the game in terms of dealing with the injury than the previous week. He has been dealing with the back issue for the past three weeks, according to Mortensen's report. He also played through a rib injury earlier this season.

Rivers finished 33-of-54 for 356 yards in Saturday's 38-35 overtime victory that helped keep the Chargers' playoff hopes alive. He was intercepted three times, but he threw four touchdown passes and converted on fourth-and-8 and fourth-and-10 on San Diego's final drive of the fourth quarter as the Chargers rallied after trailing by 21 points at halftime.

A win for the Chargers on Sunday would clinch a second straight trip to the playoffs.

Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o said Rivers' playing through injuries has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the team.

"For him to be as sharp -- not only physically, but mentally -- and to be able to command our offense and take control of our team is truly remarkable," Te'o said. "He's one of the best to play this game. And I've said it many times, we're very fortunate to have him on our team."