As we gear up for another NFL season, eleven players on the offensive side of
the ball will be attempting to extend their league-leading, regular-season consecutive starts
streaks among the NFL's active players. But some of them will be attempting to
extend their streaks with new teams as they strive to fend off Father Time and continue their
careers as starters.
Here are the eleven players who would take the field as the league's current
Ironman Team on offense, along with the men who are next line to step up if any
of them falter.
Quarterback: Former Packer Brett Favre nearly passed the torch for
most consecutive starts among active quarterbacks to the Colts' Peyton Manning
when he retired earlier this year. But Favre signed on with the Jets and will
add to his 253 career starts this September.
Next in Line: The Colts' Peyton Manning (160) and the Patriots' Tom Brady (110).
Running Back: LaDainian Tomlinson was forced to the sidelines after
trying to play on an injured knee during the AFC Championship Game in January.
But L.T. appears to be ready to add to his 48 consecutive starts this year as
the Chargers attempt to make another run at a Super Bowl Championship.
Next in Line: The Seahawks' Julius Jones (39) and the Cardinals' Edgerrin James
Tight Ends: The Chicago Bears' Desmond Clark leads a pack of
players by a narrow margin with his 51 consecutive starts. The Redskins' Chris Cooley
trails him by only three games at 48, while two others are less than ten games
behind his pace.
Next in Line: The Chargers' Antonio Gates (47) and the Steelers' Heath Miller
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Wide Receivers: When Marvin Harrison was sidelined by a knee injury
last season, the Colts' Reggie Wayne grabbed the opportunity to post a
league-leading 1,510 receiving yards. His 81 consecutive starts pairs him with
Cincinnati's Chad Johnson (68) as the league's ironmen at the wide receiver
position. Johnson, who was wearing a shoulder harness at practice earlier this
week, revealed that he has a torn labrum in his left shoulder, but plans to play
through the injury this season.
Next in Line: The Rams' Torry Holt (40) and the Panthers' Muhsin Muhammad
Offensive Tackles: At the age of 34, Philadephia's Jon Runyan enters
the 2008 season with 176 regular-season consecutive starts. Like Favre, the
6-foot-7, 330-pound veteran has a wide gap over his nearest competition,
Detroit's Jeff Backus, who enters 2008 with 112 consecutive starts.
Next in Line: Minnesota's Bryant McKinnie (87) could see his streak
come to an end early this season as he faces a possible multi-game league
suspension as a repeat offender of the league's conduct policy. McKinnie was
reportedly involved in a fight that broke out while he was outside a Miami
nightclub in February. That could open the door for Carolina's Jordan Gross and
the Giants' David Diehl, who both have 80 consecutive starts, to move up into third place this
Center: Former Chiefs center Casey Wiegmann's streak of 111 starts
appeared to be over after he was signed as a free agent during the offseason to
back up 37-year old Tom Nalen in Denver. But Nalen just recently had
arthroscopic knee surgery as a follow-up to his June operation on the same knee.
The team is hopeful that he'll be ready for the regular-season opener, but if
not, Wiegmann will have a chance to extend his streak by at least one more game
-- and that's all he would need to end up no worse than tied for first place by
the end of the year with the two players who are currently nipping at his heels.
Next in Line: The Falcons' Todd McClure (96) and the Lions' Dominic Raiola
Guards: Former Steelers All-Pro Alan Faneca will be extending his
streak with the New York Jets after relocating through free agency. His 96
consecutive starts puts him in a tie with the Texans' Chester Pitts. But an
ankle injury has hobbled Pitts since the second preseason game. "He's day
to day," coach Gary Kubiak recently told reporters. "We tried to push
him last week, and it wasn't responding as well as we would have liked. He's
gotten a lot of rest."
Next in Line: The Chargers' Mike Goff (82) and the Vikings' Steve Hutchinson
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features
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