By Ashley Scoby
If you sat down with Glover Quin long enough, he could probably list off every single player who was drafted ahead of him in 2009. And now, he has the satisfaction of knowing not one of them has lasted as long as he has in the league.
Barring something drastic happening in practice, Quin will make his 100th consecutive start in an NFL game Sunday, when the Lions take on the Bears. He missed three starts during his rookie season in 2009. But since then, he has been an Ironman, starting and playing in all 16 games in each of the last five seasons, plus all 15 games this year.
He’s played through a cracked elbow, torn ankle ligaments and a broken hand. Most recently, he returned from a concussion last week, after coming up wobbly against the Saints.
NFL players often downplay their individual statistics, relying instead on the “win as a team” cliché. But Quin’s 100-game start streak is something he’s very much aware of, especially since he knows he’s the last man standing from his draft class.
“I can’t even lie, throughout my career, I honestly go and try to compare my career to the careers those guys are having because they all got drafted ahead of me,” Quin said. “I went and looked last night if any of those guys, even in my whole draft class, was close to 100 consecutive starts.”
For the most part, Quin stands alone. With his 99 consecutive starts already under his belt, Quin ranks second among active defensive backs and fifth among all active NFL players.
“It’s a big deal to me,” he said. “It’s something I look at, like, you know what? It takes a lot of consistency, a lot of effort, a lot of everything to make it to that number.”
Patrick Chung, Darius Butler, Jairus Byrd, Bradley Fletcher, Donald Washington, Alphonso Smith – Quin can easily rattle off names of the defensive backs drafted before him. He often will go to their Wikipedia pages to figure out how close their statistics are to his, or if they’re even still in the league.
None are as much of an Ironman as Quin, as he closes in on 100 straight starts.
But the motivation for Quin to keep playing reaches further than his draft class. Missing out on game action is something that’s bothered him for years, and a quality he just carried along to the league.
“It’s one of those things I never even really thought about it,” he said. “I just hated missing games. I never liked to miss games. I never liked to miss plays, even as a little kid. … It’s just something I’ve always had and I guess I brought it with me to the NFL.”