When the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers face each other Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, the game will feature the two most durable players in the NFL: Redskins linebacker London Fletcher and Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber.
Both players enter the game having played 227 consecutive games – the longest active streak in the NFL. Barber entered the NFL as a third-round pick out of U.Va. in 1997, but didn’t play until his second season. Fletcher was signed as an undrafted rookie out of Division III John Carroll University in 1998 and began playing right away.
Barber has more starts in his career (219), 200 of them consecutively. Fletcher has 211 starts in his career.
But Barber said his streak isn’t as impressive as Fletcher’s. The linebacker has ranked among the league leaders in tackles throughout his career and led the league in 2011, his 14th season.
“I have to say doing it from his spot,” Barber said of Fletcher when asked whose streak was more impressive. “I don’t know how he’s doing it. I saw him in the preseason right before the game. Neither one of us were playing but we had a little conversation about it. I gave him props then. Doing it as middle linebacker 15 straight years is way more impressive than me. I’ve taken some hits in my day, but not nearly the type of pounding that he has over his career. Much respect for him.”