NFL Insider: Greenway, Allen rank high among NFL ironmen

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 20, 2013 - 6:41 PM

He ranks second in the NFL for consecutive starts by a linebacker.

hide

Linebacker Chad Greenway (52), trying to bring down Reggie Bush in the season opener, is among the most durable players in the NFL when it comes to consecutive games played.

Photo: JERRY HOLT • jgholt@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

So who ranks No. 2 on the “ironmen” list among active NFL linebackers when it comes to consecutive starts?

“Me,” said Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway.

Greenway was told his number stands at 76 heading into Monday night’s game against the Giants. The number he prefers, however, is 101. That’s how many consecutive games he’s played.

“It would be 101 starts, too, but we opened in the dime [six defensive backs, one linebacker] against the Lions in a game in 2008,” Greenway said. “E.J. [Henderson] was the dime linebacker back then. I came in on the second snap.”

In a manly game with bodies breaking down all around them, players who are able to remain standing and active for long stretches have every right to pat themselves on their still-healthy backs.

“It’s something you do become proud of because you put a lot of work in,” Greenway said. “You put a lot of work in the weight room to keep your joints strong, in the training room doing stuff like cold tubs and all these other things trying to get your body ready to play. You play hurt. You take a lot of pride in it. What [Redskins linebacker] London Fletcher has done [playing in an NFL-leading 245 consecutive games] is, to me, absolutely amazing.”

Among active defensive ends, Vikings 10-year veteran Jared Allen ranks No. 1 in consecutive starts (99) and No. 2 in consecutive games played (99) behind Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware (134).

“That’s pretty sweet,” Allen said when told he’ll reach No. 100 on Monday night. “To me, it’s one of those things where I believe, if I can go, I can go. I think I owe it to my teammates. They count on me to be on the field. And it’s just a mentality I’ve always had. I think everyone is hurt, everyone is injured along the way.”

Allen has missed only three games in 10 seasons. His current streak began, ironically, against the Vikings in Week 3 of the 2007 season. He returned from a two-game suspension and posted two sacks in a 13-10 win that week.

The only other game Allen has missed was against the Ravens in Week 4 of his rookie season. That’s the only game in his career that he’s missed because of injury (sprained knee).

Allen will join just 21 current non-specialists who have played at least 100 consecutive games and eight who have started at least 100 consecutive games. The players who have at least 100 consecutive starts are: Fletcher (204), Giants quarterback Eli Manning (141), Jets offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson (118), Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (118), Cardinals offensive tackle Eric Winston (110), Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (107), Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (105) and Texans center Chris Myers (102).

Something that former Rams defensive end Jack Youngblood said years ago has stuck with Allen to this day. Youngblood, of course, famously played the 1979 playoffs, including Super Bowl XIV, and the 1980 Pro Bowl with a leg fracture.

“I remember the saying by Youngblood, ‘If I can run on it, tape it up and give me an aspirin and we’ll deal with it later,’ ” Allen said. “That’s always been my mentality. Guys who played before me, those guys played beat and battered. It’s kind of a badge of honor to go out there whether you’re hurt or whether you’re healthy, and give it all you got for your teammates.”

Northern Intelligence

Ndamukong Suh has been a nasty, highly fined force at defensive tackle since the Lions drafted him second overall in 2010. But he might not be the best D-tackle taken that year. Geno Atkins, taken 120th overall in the fourth round by the Bengals, leads NFL defensive tackles with 27 sacks since 2010, including four in six games this year.

Suh is second at 24½. The two will be on the same NFL field for the first time Sunday. Atkins told Lions reporters he’s cool with where he was taken. “Suh was a beast,” Atkins said. “He was the best defensive player … I can understand why he went first.”

• • •

The run-oriented Vikings are losing ground to the air-oriented Packers in an unexpected area: rushing. The Packers rank fifth (140.8 yards per game), while the Vikes are 13th (116.4).

The Packers have rushed for at least 135 yards in each of the past four games. Last time they did it: Weeks 9-12 in 2003.

• • •

The Bears have issues and injuries on defense. Injuries to nickel corner Kelvin Hayden, defensive tackles Nate Collins and Henry Melton and now middle linebacker D.J. Williams are a big factor in Chicago ranking 20th defensively and allowing at least 21 points per game. The Bears also have only eight sacks, which has contributed to a No. 23 ranking against the pass. But what the Bears do have, as usual, is takeaways.

They’re tied for second in the league with 17, one behind Kansas City. They also lead the league in points off turnovers (62).

Three observations …

• For as many months upon months that teams, media and draftnik snake-oil sales … er … gurus spend breaking down the NFL draft, how in the world does a Russell Wilson fall to the third round?

• Chiefs QB Alex Smith says he has “no idea” what a “game manager” is. Come to think of it, neither do we, since that really describes every quarterback. But if Alex is one of them, it must be a good thing.

• Denver coach John Fox was right. Jim Irsay’s comment about the Colts wanting more Lombardi Trophies than stats was a cheap shot at Peyton Manning. Manning carried more than a decade’s worth of Colts teams that were riddled with holes.

Two predictions …

• Manning throws for 400 yards and four TDs as the Broncos overwhelm the Colts.

• Manning’s younger brother stays six games behind big bro, improving to 1-6 with a home win over the Vikings on MNF.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Nashville
ULM 10 1st Half 11:34
Robert Morris 14
Santa Clara 14 1st Half 11:51
Tennessee 10
Oklahoma 12:00 PM
Butler
Austin Peay 1:00 PM
Brown
Princeton 1:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Coastal Carolina 1:30 PM
Chattanooga
Kansas 1:30 PM
Rhode Island
Wisconsin 2:30 PM
Georgetown
FIU 2:30 PM
USC Upstate
Long Island 3:00 PM
Stony Brook
San Diego 3:30 PM
Xavier
Illinois 4:00 PM
Indiana State
Western Ky 5:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cal State Fullerton 5:00 PM
Wright State
Michigan State 5:30 PM
Rider
UCLA 6:00 PM
North Carolina
Marquette 7:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Long Beach State 7:30 PM
Western Mich
Stephen F Austin 8:00 PM
Prairie View
UAB 8:30 PM
Florida
Rice 8:30 PM
Mercer
San Jose St 10:00 PM
Washington
Washington St 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Baylor 10:59 PM
Memphis
Ohio U 24 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 21
LSU 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 12:00 PM
Furman
Clemson 12:15 PM
Ohio State
Idaho State 1:00 PM
San Diego State
East Carolina 1:00 PM
(22) Syracuse
Santa Clara 2:30 PM
Texas-El Paso
Florida State 2:30 PM
Washington
Wichita State 2:30 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Wisconsin 3:15 PM
(1) South Carolina
BYU 5:00 PM
BYU-Hawaii
Kansas State 5:00 PM
LSU
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Montana
Illinois 5:00 PM
(9) Kentucky
Central Michigan 7:00 PM
Richmond
Oklahoma 7:15 PM
South Florida
Princeton 7:30 PM
Wake Forest
(19) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Butler
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close