Building the NFL's All Injury-Prone Team

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIFebruary 9, 2012

Building the NFL's All Injury-Prone Team

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    Look, injuries happen every day. Sure, the violent and crushing hits of the NFL might cause more injuries than putt-putt golf, but that's what professional football players signed up for.

    However, it seems that some players are more prone to injuries than other. For example, some NFL players can't even celebrate without getting injured (Bill Gramatica).

    It's players like these that we're talking about today.

    Ladies and gentlemen, your All Injury-Prone NFL Team is here.


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    Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

    As talented and explosive as Vick is, you simply can't expect him to play 16 games in a season. In fact, he's only played all 16 games once in his career.

    The main reason for him getting the nod over guys like Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Schaub is because of his style of play. While it is extremely enjoyable to watch, it also causes Vick to get hit way too hard, way too often.

    This is really a shame because when Vick is on the field, he has the ability to be the most dynamic player out there.

Running Backs

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    Note: I've eliminate the fullback from the roster because there aren't many that really make a huge impact anymore.

    Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders

    In his four years in the league, McFadden has missed 19 games. That is nearly five games a year with nagging injuries.

    He started the 2011 season on an absolute tear, but missed the final nine games with an injured foot. It almost seems that any little nick will sideline McFadden for an extended period of time.

    If he ever stays healthy, he could establish himself as one of the top running backs in the league.

    Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins

    Let me first say that I really hated putting Bush on this roster. My original player was Adrian Peterson, but after looking over Bush's missed time a little more closely, there is no doubt he belongs on this roster.

    Bush did play in the most games since his rookie year in his first year with the Miami Dolphins. However, looking at his 20 missed games over the last five years is still a little troubling.

    Hopefully, Bush will turn his injury-prone label around with the Dolphins and produce like many expected him to out of college.

Wide Receivers

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    Andre Johnson, Houston Texans

    Of all the great players on this list who suffer numerous injuries, Johnson's hurt the most. When healthy, Johnson is the best receiver in the game.

    Unfortunately, Johnson has missed 12 games over the past two years and another 10 games in the five years before that. He's been spending more time on the sidelines than he has on the actual field recently, and that should scare the Texans.

    The Texans offense would be extremely dangerous if Johnson could stop getting injured, but that doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon.

    Anthony Gonzalez, Indianapolis Colts

    You may not recognize Gonzalez due to the fact that he didn't make a reception in 2011. The big reason for that is because he missed the entire 2009 season along with the last eight games of the 2010 season.

    Coming out of college, Gonzalez looked like an ideal slot receiver who would bring more firepower to the Colts offense. After a breakout year in 2008, Gonzalez couldn't stay healthy enough to live up to those expectations.

    He'll be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but teams will likely stay away from him due to his injury history.

Tight End

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    Jeremy Shockey, Carolina Panthers

    Did you know that Jeremy Shockey has never played a full 16-game season in his 10-year career? Well, he hasn't.

    With that said, he doesn't generally miss long stretches of games, but you can usual count on Shockey sitting out a game or two a season because of some injury.

    Shockey's career has been the definition of "injury prone."

Offensive Line

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    Chad Clifton, Green Bay Packers

    Of all the offensive linemen on this list, Clifton may be the most injury-prone. He missed 10 games in 2011 and another four in 2009.

    Clifton is getting up there in age, so his proneness to injury might force him to retire a little early.

    Jared Gaither, San Diego Chargers

    Gaither is a huge player with loads of talent, but he just can't stay on the field long enough to show everyone just how good he can be.

    In his six NFL seasons, he's only played in all 16 games once.

    Matt Light, New England Patriots

    Earlier in his career, Light appeared to be much more prone to injuries. However, he has missed five games in the past three years, which shows that he is still suspect to an injury or two.

    If Light can stay healthy, he is one of the best in the game.

    Tony Ugoh, New York Giants

    Ugoh was originally drafted by the Indianapolis Colts and saw some decent playing time his first two seasons.

    Unfortunately, he suffered injuries and was eventually waived by the team following the 2009 season. Due to being injury-prone, he now has difficulty staying on a roster.

    Max Starks, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Starks has had back-to-back shortened seasons because of injuries.

    At 30 years of age, the injuries may continue for him.

Defensive Line

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    Note: We are running a 3-4 defense for our injury-prone team.

    Osi Umenyiora, New York Giants

    Umenyiora started all 16 games in 2010, but was only able to get on the field for nine games in 2011 due to an injured ankle.

    It's these type of small injuries that cause players to miss large amounts of time that makes a player injury-prone. For teams looking to make a possible move for Umenyiora, they better be cautious.

    John Abraham, Atlanta Falcons

    While Abraham isn't a guy who misses entire seasons, he is prone to missing a game here and a game there rather frequently. In fact, he has missed a game in each of the past two seasons because of injuries.

    Abraham is another player who is getting old, and it is likely that injuries will continue to pile up for him.

    Luis Castillo, San Diego Chargers

    Castillo has been injury-prone since he first came into the league in 2005. He missed a combined 12 games in his first three years, and 15 games during the 2011 season.

    He has "injury-prone" written all over him.


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    Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears

    Of all the players on this list, Urlacher will likely be the most controversial. Even though Urlacher is extremely tough, he is susceptible to major injuries.

    He missed 15 games during the 2009 season and another seven games during the 2004 season.

    Shawne Merriman, Buffalo Bills

    Merriman has yet to play an entire 16-game season in his career.

    He burst onto the scene in 2006, had a productive season in 2007 and has dealt with injuries every year since. This last season saw him only play in five games.

    Nick Barnett, Buffalo Bills

    In his first year with the Bills, Barnett did a pretty good job at working towards shedding his label as injury-prone. He started and played in all 16 games in 2011.

    However, before this season, Barnett struggled with injuries for the Green Bay Packers. In eight years for Green Bay, Barnett missed a total of 21 games.

    Elvis Dumervil, Denver Broncos

    When you miss an entire season because of an injury, you're bound to have the label of being prone to injuries. 

    That is exactly what happened for Dumervil in 2010, and his two missed games in 2011 simply proved that there are concerns of him staying healthy.


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    Cedric Griffin, Minnesota Vikings

    Griffin missed 14 games during the 2010 season because of a knee injury.

    While he did came back and played in all 16 games in 2011, there is still major reason to be worried about the strength of his knees moving forward. It wouldn't be too surprising if he starting missing a few games here and there because of injury.

    Adam "Pac-Man" Jones, Cincinnati Bengals

    Jones is another player who has never participated in a full season, as he has missed at least one game in each of his five seasons.

    Over the past two years, Jones has only played in 15 of the 32 possible games, which is a major red flag. 

    Maybe if Jones spent more time training and less time at clubs, he would stay on the field longer.


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    Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Since 2006, Polamalu has missed 21 games because of injuries.

    Whenever he gets injured, it never seems to be a serious injury either. It seems like a nick here or a bruise there will keep him out for an extended period of time.

    He did play in every game in 2011, but that definitely hasn't been the norm lately.

    Bob Sanders, San Diego Chargers

    Sanders may be worthy of the "All-Time, All-Injured Award." This is a player who simply can't stay healthy.

    He's missed a whopping 53 games in the past four seasons and another 29 in the four seasons before that.

    Simply put, if you have Sanders on your team, you better be ready for him to be injured.