Patriots Brady, Wilfork, and Gronkowski Among NFL's 'Ironmen'

Ian Logue
May 17, 2012 at 10:09am ET

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He might be several seasons removed from a knee injury that sidelined him mere minutes into the 2008 campaign, but looking at the latest list Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is among the NFL's list of 'ironmen' when it comes to consecutive regular season games started among active players.

Tom Brady has started every regular season game since getting back on the field 2009.
Brady is currently ranked #4 on the list, having started and played in 48 straight regular season contests since getting back out on the field in 2009.  Here's a quick look at the top six who join him in that category:

1) Eli Manning - New York Giants - 119
2) Philip Rivers - San Diego Padres - 97
3) Joe Flacco - Baltimore Ravens - 64
4) Tom Brady - New England Patriots - 48
5) Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons - 35
5) Mark Sanchez - New York Jets - 35

Rob Gronkowksi is also among the leaders for tight ends, having started 19 straight regular season games.  His only games in which he didn't start came in 2010, where he didn't start on 9/19 against the Jets, 9/26 against the Bills, 10/31 against Minnesota, 12/06 against the Jets, and 12/12 against the Bears.  However, he did play in each of those games.

He's currently ranked at #5 among active players with some impressive company:

1) Tony Gonzalez - Atlanta Falcons - 86
2) Jason Witten - Dallas Cowboys - 83
3) Vernon Davis - San Francisco - 75
4) Brandon Pettigrew - Detroit Lions - 32
5) Rob Gronkowksi - New England - 19

And finally, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork also makes this list after being tied with four other players for the third most consecutive regular season contests started among defensive tackles:

1) Justin Smith - San Francisco - 171
2) Jay Ratliff - Dallas Cowboys - 64
3) Tommy Kelly - Oakland - 64
4) Domata Peko - Cincinnati - 32
4) Shaun Cody - Houston - 32
4) Tyson Alualu - Jacksonville - 32
4) Vince Wilfork - New England - 32

Wilfork's streak started in 2010, after he missed the final three games of the 2009 season with an ankle injury.  He's started every regular season game since then.