By Matt Vensel
The Baltimore Sun
10:15 AM EDT, October 24, 2013
There is a saying in NFL circles that availability is one of the most important abilities for quarterbacks.
Look around the league and you will see a bunch of quarterbacks -- from strong-armed statues to mobile dual threats -- who have been knocked out of the lineup due to injuries. According to USA Today, there are already 11 teams that have changed their quarterback entering Week 8, most due to an injury.
Yet seven games into his sixth season, Joe Flacco of the Ravens has yet to miss a single snap in his career due to injury. He has made 100 straight starts for the Ravens, including playoffs, and with 86 straight regular-season starts, he has the NFL’s third-longest active streak behind Eli Manning and Philip Rivers.
Go ahead and knock on wood. I’ll wait.
Last weekend, the Chicago Bears lost Jay Cutler to a groin injury. Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams went down with a torn ACL. And Josh Freeman made one start with the Minnesota Vikings before getting concussed.
According to USA Today, there will have been 45 different quarterbacks who started a game in the NFL this season once this weekend is through. That long list includes journeymen such as Josh McCown, Thad Lewis and Brian Hoyer.
It makes you appreciate Flacco's durability. He is unafraid to step into a blitzer to complete a deep pass down the field and he will take a hit to pick up a first down on the ground if he has to. Flacco has been sacked or hit 347 times since his rookie season, according to Pro Football Focus, and he keeps on ticking despite that licking.
Say what you want about Flacco and his performance this season -- I’m sure you will in the comments section -- but with other quarterbacks dropping like flies around the NFL, you have to respect his important ability of availability.
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