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Who Powered Through: Curtis Martin

Yes, folks, we have yet another sponsor. This time Vick's is sponsoring a series of posts related to pain and sickness. On a Jets site, how could anybody's first thought when hearing this not be Curtis Martin?

Martin was an absolute ironman for the Jets. Between 1998 and 2004, he played in 118 out of 119 games despite the pounding he took at the running back position. By the time most backs hit 30, the physical pounding they take piles up, and they lose their explosion. The ones who avoid this trend like Thomas Jones usually had lighter work loads early in their careers. That makes Curtis winning the NFL rushing title in 2004 at the age of 31 astounding, doing it after seeing the bulk of New York's carries for six yards up to that point (on top of three years as New England's top back).

That was the last of his 10 straight 1,000 yard seasons to start his career. Barry Sanders was the only other back to accomplish this. Martin made 3 Pro Bowls with the Jets and 3 All Pro teams. He accomplished all of this despite consistently playing through nagging injuries to his ankle, groin, shoulder, and knee.

Here's something else to consider. An injury he suffered in Week 2 of the 2005 season against Miami eventually created a bone on bone condition in his knee and ended his career. He started 10 NFL games after that and ran for over 700 yards, including a 148 yard game at Buffalo. How gutty is that?

Curtis Martin: the definition of a football warrior