Everybody is blown away that Jason Kelce will start his 100th consecutive game Monday night.
Everybody except Kelce.
“You talk to anybody in the building, Kelce is the epitome of what kind of professional you want to be,” Isaac Seumalo said. “The dude gives everything he’s got every day.”
Considering he’s an undersized center, considering he turned 33 earlier this month, considering he’s played the last few years with numerous injuries that would have sidelined mere mortals, Kelce’s durability is remarkable.
On Monday night, when he starts against the Seahawks at the Linc, Kelce will become the fifth offensive lineman in franchise history to start 100 consecutive games:
144: Jon Runyan (2000-2008)
127: Jerry Sisemore (1974-1982)
126: Stan Walters (1975-1983)
108: Dave Alexander (1988-1994)
99: Jason Kelce (2015-2020)
He hasn’t missed a game since the middle of the 2014 season, when he was out for a month with a sports hernia. In all, he’s started 127 of the Eagles’ last 131 games. Plus seven playoff games.
“The way he comes in, he’s a no-(B.S.) type of guy,” said Brandon Graham, Kelce’s teammate since 2011. “He’s cool, he’s out here working hard every day. He’s aggressive. He’s got aggression every day. He’s mad one minute and he’s happy. But what I love, he always has that edge when he’s on the field. You see it in his play. He’s great in space. You don’t want to be on the other end of Jason Kelce when he’s out there in space.”
Kelce is a three-time Pro Bowler, a three-time All-Pro and the greatest center in Eagles history.
But 100 straight starts or not, he’s not impressed.
“I don't know that it means much,” he said. “I don't think a number means much. I mean, I think you just try and be available and do your job. And I've been fortunate to be able to do that, and obviously, injury rates in this league are pretty substantial. I've been pretty lucky all things considered to not have injuries over the course of 100 games that would sit me down, but I think that a lot of it's just pretty good fortune. I'm happy that I've been able to do it.”
The consecutive games streak in Eagles history is 162, shared by Harold Carmichael and Jon Dorenbos.
The longest streak of consecutive starts belongs to Herm Edwards, who started 145 straight games from the start of his rookie year in 1977 through the end of 1985.
Jon Runyan fell one game short of that mark.
“He’s not a flashy guy when it comes to maybe his clothes or his shoes or different things like that outside of football, but definitely when he's on the field, he definitely has a swagger about himself,” Jalen Mills said. “What was it, two years ago, he was thinking about retiring or something like that? And then coming back, I mean, that just lets you know that the guy loves football. He's dedicated to this team and this organization. I mean, I love him.”
Kelce’s streak of 99 straight games is the longest current streak by any NFL interior lineman. Falcons center Alex Mack is next with a 90-game streak and nobody else has started more than 67 in a row.
The only NFL offensive lineman with a longer current streak is another Falcon, left tackle Jake Matthews, with 104 games in a row.
“I’ve been extremely blessed and grateful to have an O-line room full of not only older guys that are really good at what they do, but who are willing to share with younger guys like myself,” Seumalo said. “Now I’m doing it with the guys coming in. But from Day One, guys like Kelce and guys like (Jason Peters) and Brandon (Brooks) and Lane (Johnson), they’ve shown what it means to be a true professional and detail your game, but also to give everything you have every day.
“Kelce epitomizes that every day. And the 100 games, that’s pretty crazy. To play that much and to be healthy enough to play, I’m real thankful for him.”
It’s hard to imagine the Eagles without Graham or Fletcher Cox. The day is coming, but it’s just about impossible to imagine the Eagles without Kelce.