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November 16, 2015

Eagles' long history of injured quarterbacks continues

Eagles NFL
111615SamBradford Michael Perez/AP

The three most dangerous jobs in America: (3) Lumberjack, (2) Fisherman, (1) Eagles QB.

If Mark Sanchez starts in place of Sam Bradford next Sunday, as expected, it will mark the seventh consecutive year in which the Eagles' quarterback did not start all 16 regular season games. 

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In the NFL, this is very much the exception, not the norm. Half of the NFL's 32 teams had quarterbacks who started all 16 games last year. The Eagles haven't had a quarterback who has started all 16 games since Donovan McNabb did so in 2008. Below is a list of all 32 teams, and the last time they had a quarterback start all 16 games:

Team Last season QB started all 16 games Who was it? 
 Giants2014 Eli Manning 
 Lions2014 Matthews Stafford 
 Packers2014 Aaron Rodgers 
 Saints2014 Drew Brees 
 Falcons2014 Matt Ryan 
 Seahawks2014 Russell Wilson 
 49ers2014 Colin Kaepernick 
 Patriots2014 Tom Brady 
 Dolphins2014 Ryan Tannehill 
 Steelers2014 Ben Roethlisberger 
 Ravens2014 Joe Flacco 
 Bengals2014 Andy Dalton 
 Colts2014 Andrew Luck 
 Raiders2014 Derek Carr 
 Broncos2014 Peyton Manning 
 Chargers2014 Phillip Rivers 
 Panthers2013 Cam Newton 
 Cardinals2013 Carson Palmer 
 Jets2013 Geno Smith 
 Cowboys2012 Tony Romo 
 Vikings2012 Christian Ponder 
 Buccaneers2012 Josh Freeman 
 Rams2012 Sam Bradford 
 Bills2012 Ryan Fitzpatrick 
 Texans2012 Matt Schaub 
 Titans2011 Matt Hasselbeck 
 Redskins2009 Jason Campbell 
 Bears2009 Jay Cutler 
 Jaguars2009 David Garrard 
 Eagles2008 Donovan McNabb 
 Chiefs2005 Trent Green 
 Browns2001 Tim Couch 

If you include 2015, over the last 25 years the Eagles have only had four seasons (five if you include 2004, when the Eagles rested starters the last week of the season), in which their quarterback started all 16 games. All of them were by Donovan McNabb. During that span, only the godless Browns have had fewer:

 Team16-game starts by QB: 1991-2015Team 16-game starts by QB: 1991-2015
 Packers19 Bills 
 Colts17  Panthers
 Patriots17  Chiefs
 Giants16  Rams
 Saints15  Texans
 Chargers13  Raiders
 Bengals12  Steelers
 Broncos11  Seahawks
 Ravens10  Cardinals
 Lions10  Vikings
 Dolphins10  Redskins
 49ers10  Titans/Oilers
 Falcons Bears
 Cowboys Jaguars
 Buccaneers Browns

Part of that is because the Eagles have had injury-prone quarterbacks. Part of that is because they have had quarterbacks who have sucked. Sometimes it has been both. Some of it is luck, some isn't. The reality is that the Eagles have had, and continue to have, one of the most unstable quarterback situations in professional football

A week ago we wrote that Chip Kelly hinted that he wants Sam Bradford to be the Eagles' quarterback next year. No matter what happens with Bradford at the conclusion of this season, the Eagles need to make the quarterback position an extreme priority in the draft. That player would preferably have some skills, or at a minimum, be able to stay upright for a season. That's how low the bar is at this point.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski

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