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Stuck in 'sickening' losing streak, Rivers wants to dig hole, hide during Chargers' bye week


SAN DIEGO — When a team starts talking about playing for pride and respect, it's pretty much over.

That's where Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers are after their fifth straight loss, 22-19 to the Chicago Bears on Monday night.

The Chargers (2-7) are last in the AFC West thanks to their longest losing streak since 2011. They've been in close games but haven't been able to seal the deal. On Monday night, they were done in by Jay Cutler and costly penalties.

Nobody seems to have any answers.

"At this point, I think you play for respect ... of the other guys in the locker room," Rivers said. "I really think there's nothing worth past it than that. That's why I'm going to show up and continue to go because we have 16 of them and because I want to make sure that I continue to earn and have that from those other guys in there. So, I hope the rest of us will do the same."

This is the longest losing streak in Mike McCoy's three seasons as coach.

Rivers said he plans to take more of a break from football than normal during the bye.

"When you've lost five in a row, it's pretty sickening," Rivers said. "It's usually kind of fun to watch football if you have a winning record and you're rolling. You want to watch as much of it as you can because you're feeling pretty good about yourself. When it's like this, you kind of want to just dig a hole and hide for a little while."

Tight end Antonio Gates also is trying to grasp the reality of being all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs with seven games to go.

"This is a very uncommon situation for us to be sitting at 2-7. It's one of those things where you learn from it," Gates said Tuesday. "I think your character normally shows up when you're in a situation like this. It shows a lot about what you stand for, what you're about. We'll get a chance to see who we can depend on and who we can't."

Wide receiver Malcom Floyd, who is playing his last season, left Monday night's game with a shoulder injury after making a diving attempt at a pass. McCoy declined to provide an update.

The loss of Floyd came eight days after Keenan Allen, one of the NFL's leading receivers, suffered a season-ending lacerated kidney when he landed hard at the end of a spectacular touchdown catch at Baltimore.

In the AFC West, the Chargers still have to play Denver and Kansas City twice, and at Oakland. The Raiders embarrassed the Chargers in San Diego two weeks ago. The Broncos and Chiefs swept the Chargers last year.

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