Although Eli Manning will tell you that he is not really hurt that badly, this week his name showed up on the Giants’ injury report and when you’ve started as many consecutive games as Manning has, that kind of thing makes headlines.
“I never really looked at it,” said Manning, “I don’t know if I really deserve to be on an injury report. Kind of told me they had to list something. I said okay. You can’t really control that.”
There’s never been much of a reason for Manning to look at the injury report. Since he made his first NFL start in November of 2004, the Ole Miss alum has made 164 consecutive regular season starts. That streak improves to 175 games if you want to include the playoffs.
“I think I want to be there for my teammates,” said Manning when asked about the importance of the streak, “I want to be there for the organization, we have a lot of guys who are banged up, and hurting, they are there practicing, they are there playing on Sundays, and I want to do the same for them always. You definitely want to be there for your teammates to show that you are committed and you are doing whatever you can to be out there on the field for them.”
The closet Manning came to missing a game was probably at the start of the 2007 season. During New York’s opening loss to Dallas, he suffered a shoulder sprain. Although it was initially reported that Manning could miss up to a month with the injury, he ended up suiting up and playing against Green Bay in Week 2. The Giants lost that game, but Manning ended up being healthy enough to play the rest of the season and complete the run for a Super Bowl title.
With the stakes much lower this time around, no one can blame Manning for wanting to take a week off with what the team is calling a back injury. Nevertheless, Manning plans to move his streak to 165 when Big Blue takes on Washington in Week 15.
“I don’t know if I really got hurt. I feel good, the coach wanted to take a few reps off, it wasn’t many reps anyway, so it is not going to limit me in my practices for the week, or the game. Just kind of some of the procedures you have to go through now in the NFL.”