How "injury prone" is Michael Vick, exactly?

Anytime the discussion to trade Kevin Kolb arises, there's almost always some sort of mention that by trading Kolb, the Eagles run the risk of having a bare cupboard in the event the "injury-prone" Michael Vick should be lost for an extended period of time.  It's a valid point, of course, as Michael Vick is prone to injury more than your typical QB simply because of the number of shots he takes.

Some people note that Michael Vick has only started all 16 games in a season once in his career.  That's true, but somewhat misleading, as he started 15 games in three of them.  Others have made the point that in the past 4 seasons that Vick has been the starting QB for his team, he has only missed 5 games due to injury.  That of course factors out his jail time.

So I figured I'd take a look at the other QB's around the league and see how Vick compares to them from an "injury-prone" standpoint.  I took all the QB's that were their team's undisputed starter for the past 2 years, added up the number of games they would be the clear-cut starter for their team, and tallied how many games they played/missed due to injury.  Since it has no bearing on being "injury-prone," I didn't include games in which the QB sat out Week 17 because they were locked into a particular playoff seed (Vick and Brees are two examples). I also factored out benchings (McNabb, Alex Smith), and any other circumstances in which a QB missed a game due to a non-injury related circumstance.  I also lazily omitted a couple QB's (Kyle Orton comes to mind) whose career needed more of a microscope than I cared to give it.  Here are the findings (after the jump):

Player Possible games Games played Games missed % of games started
Peyton Manning 208 208 0 100
Eli Manning 103 103 0 100
Philip Rivers 80 80 0 100
Joe Flacco 48 48 0 100
Brett Favre 301 298 3 99
Jay Cutler 64 63 1 98
Aaron Rodgers 48 47 1 98
Mark Sanchez 32 31 1 97
Chad Henne 29 28 1 97
Drew Brees 142 137 5 96
Matt Ryan 48 46 2 96
Matt Cassel 47 45 2 96
David Garrard 73 67 6 92
Jason Campbell 71 65 6 92
Tom Brady 158 143 15 91
Ben Roethlisberger 108 98 10 91
Donovan McNabb 179 155 24 87
Carson Palmer 112 97 15 87
Matt Hasselbeck 160 138 22 86
Matt Schaub 64 54 10 84
Tony Romo 75 62 13 83
Michael Vick 94 77 17 82
Alex Smith 70 40 30 57
Matthew Stafford 32 13 19 41

 

At 82%, Vick is the 3rd lowest among this sample group, but similar to guys like Romo, Schaub, Hasselbeck, Palmer, and McNabb.  This is due in large part to Vick's 2003 season, when he broke his fibula in the preseason and missed the first 11 games of the season, seen here:

Vick Possible games Games played Games missed % of games started
2002 16 15 1 94
2003 16 5 11 31
2004 16 15 1 94
2005 16 15 1 94
2006 16 16 0 100
2007 Jail      
2008 Jail      
2009 Not the starter      
2011 14 11 3 79

While I agree that Vick is more likely to get injured than a QB with a quick release that never runs and rarely takes shots (like a Peyton Manning), I don't think "injury prone" is quite the correct phrase.  I see "injury prone" players as the guys that always seem to find themselves as "questionable" in the injury report, with an assortment of ailments, kind of like our old friend Brian Westbrook.  That doesn't really apply to Michael Vick, at least historically so far in his career.  It's the season-ending knockout punch that should be of gravest concern, obviously.

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