FOXBORO, Mass. — Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has an impressive stable of receiving targets at his disposal, but he reminisced Wednesday about one that got away.

Rivers and Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker were rookies together in the Chargers' 2004 training camp. Rivers, the fourth overall pick in the draft, obviously stuck around, while San Diego released Welker after camp.

"I liked Wes a lot, obviously," Rivers said. "We played against Wes when he was at Texas Tech, and I think he ran a punt back against us. He played there just like he does now, just made all of the great plays and was the every-down receiver that he is. Obviously, we hoped that he was going to be here a long time. It didn't happen. We kind of talked about that at the Pro Bowl as well. Wes has had a great career, and continues to have a great career."