Philip Rivers Helps Chargers End Six-Game Skid

Rivers threw for 294 yards and 3 touchdowns, burning Jacksonville’s depleted secondary early and often, and the beat the host Jaguars, 38-14, on Monday night to snap a six-game losing streak.

The Chargers (5-7) could have used Rivers’s turnaround sooner. Rivers, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, leads the in interceptions (17) and turnovers (21) and has been a key part of San Diego’s disappointing season.

Rivers completed 22 of 28 passes — hooking up with Vincent Brown, Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd for long scores — before sitting out the final few minutes.

The Chargers scored on five of their first six drives, then sent most of the crowd scrambling for the exits with Ryan Mathews’s 31-yard touchdown run in the fourth.

It was a much-needed victory for San Diego, which trails Denver and Oakland by two games in the A.F.C. West. And it was another blow to the Jaguars, who endured the most sweeping changes in the 17-year history of the franchise last week. The team owner Wayne Weaver fired Coach Jack Del Rio and announced he was selling the club to the Illinois businessman Shahid Khan.

FORTE IS EXPECTED BACK Coach Lovie Smith said he expected running back to return this season from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Smith said Forte “looked pretty good” on Monday, but he would not put a timetable on his return. Chances are Forte, who entered Sunday’s game leading the N.F.L. in yards from scrimmage, will miss a few games, although he played through a similar injury in 2009.

TEXANS INJURIES Receiver has what is being called a mild left hamstring injury, though Houston Coach Gary Kubiak could not say if Johnson would play at Cincinnati this weekend. Kubiak said the rookie punter was out for the season after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament late in Sunday’s 17-10 win over Atlanta.

VICK BACK AT PRACTICE Michael Vick returned to practice after missing three games with two broken ribs and will play this weekend, when Philadelphia meets Miami.

Texans’ Leinart Out for Season With Broken Collarbone

Leinart, who started in placed of the injured Matt Schaub, will be placed on injured reserve after breaking his left collarbone in the second quarter of Houston’s 20-13 win at Jacksonville on Sunday.

The left-handed Leinart was making his first start since 2009 after Schaub broke his right foot in the Texans’ 37-9 win at Tampa Bay on Nov. 13.

Kubiak said Leinart would have surgery in the next week. Schaub is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday to repair a Lisfranc injury.

“I’ve been a little bit part coach, part counselor here the last couple of weeks,” Kubiak said.

Despite losing one key player after another, Houston (8-3) has won a franchise-record five straight games. The rookie T. J. Yates, a fifth-round draft pick out of North Carolina, will start Sunday’s game against Atlanta (7-4). Kellen Clemens, signed last week, will serve as the backup.

Kubiak said Houston would try out other quarterbacks this week. And he hinted that he might even consider 42-year-old Brett Favre, who retired in January after 20 seasons.

“I don’t think you rule out anybody,” Kubiak said when asked about Favre specifically.

POLAMALU’S STATUS UNCLEAR Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu, last season’s N.F.L. defensive player of the year, may have a concussion, but the team did not offer a prognosis on when he would return. Polamalu sat out almost the entire win at Kansas City on Sunday after making a low hit on the 6-foot-6, 290-pound Chiefs tackle Steve Maneri.

Coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers held out Polamalu as a precaution; it is the second time this season Polamalu left a game early after a blow to the head. “I don’t know at this juncture if it was a concussion; I want to be clear,” Tomlin said.

BROWNS LOSE FUJITA Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita could be out for the season with a broken right hand. Fujita played in only nine games last season because of a left knee injury. Browns Coach Pat Shurmur said Fujita would miss “a significant amount of time.”

NO MORE CELEBRATIONS Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson suggested that his days of colorful — and sometimes questionable — touchdown celebrations may be over. His statements came a day after he was criticized for a celebration in which he mocked Jets receiver Plaxico Burress for shooting himself in the leg and then pretended to crash a plane. The celebration drew a penalty that robbed the Bills of momentum in a loss to the Jets. After saying he “probably” won’t continue celebrating after scoring, Johnson then added that his extended demonstration on Sunday would be his last.

CHIEFS CONSIDER A CHANGE Chiefs Coach Todd Haley said that Tyler Palko remained Kansas City’s starting quarterback, despite a four-turnover effort in Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh, but he acknowledged that Kyle Orton would be given an opportunity to win the job before Sunday’s game at Chicago. The Chiefs claimed Orton off waivers from Denver as they scrambled to find a replacement for Matt Cassel, who was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 13. Palko was given the job for a game at New England and threw three interceptions. When Orton did not arrive until Friday, the team had no choice but to start Palko against Pittsburgh.

Jaguars Stop Ravens and Halt Skid

Stepping into the national spotlight for one night, the host Jaguars used their best defensive effort in five years to slow down Ray Rice and Joe Flacco.

Jacksonville (2-5) did not allow a first down to the Ravens (4-2) until the 5-minute-26-second mark of the third quarter, a mix of stout defense and inept offense. Scobee had two field goals from 54 yards and one from 51.

LOSE TWO STARTERS The Washington Redskins had their fortunes take another dive when running back Tim Hightower was declared out for the season with a torn knee ligament and receiver had hand surgery that is expected to sideline him for five to seven weeks.

That makes five starters lost to significant injuries over the last two weeks, coinciding with a two-game losing streak and a quarterback switch.

Hightower is the team’s leading rusher. Moss is the top wideout. Both were hurt in Sunday’s loss.

In other injury news:

¶ Quarterback Matthew Stafford is day to day after sustaining a right ankle injury in the final minutes of Detroit’s loss to Atlanta on Sunday.

¶ Denver‘s leading rusher, Willis McGahee, is expected to have surgery this week for a broken finger on his right hand and will not play against Detroit on Sunday.

¶ Rams Coach Steve Spagnuolo said that quarterback Sam Bradford remained in a walking boot and that he was not sure of his availability for Sunday against the Saints.