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It’s official: Ryan Fitzpatrick haunts starting quarterbacks

Ryan Fitzpatrick has once again found his way into a starting lineup, which has us wondering if they teach black magic and/or voodoo at Harvard. Regular Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Jake Locker suffered his second major injury of the year Sunday, sending him to the injured reserve and moving Fitzpatrick under center for the remainder of the 2013 season. 

But as one smart Redditor pointed out on Tuesday, this isn't the first time Fitzpatrick has been given a shot to start due to injury. In fact, it seems to take place quite frequently. 

Despite the fact he's joined four teams in nine years always with the design of being a backup, the guy has managed to start 69 of a possible 137 career games. In other words, he has started more games than he has sat. Only 20 quarterbacks have played in more games than he has since entering the league, and all 20 have been locked in starters at various moments. Most have been starters from the get-go. 

Only once in nine years has he been a Week 1 starter, yet if he finishes this season he'll have averaged 8.4 starts per season. Even if you remove that 2011 season in which he was Buffalo's No. 1 QB from Day 1, that number is still 7.5.

He entered the NFL as a third-stringer behind franchise Rams quarterback Marc Bulger and backup Jamie Martin. But both got hurt (Bulger twice, in fact) within the first 12 weeks of Fitzpatrick's rookie season. Boom, he starts three games to finish the year.

Two years later, he joined the Bengals in order to back up franchise quarterback and Pro Bowler Carson Palmer. Palmer was back from a torn ACL, but he'd miss all but four games in 2008 due to an elbow injury. In came Fitzpatrick, who started the majority of that year. 

Two years after that, he went to Buffalo to back up Trent Edwards. But in back-to-back seasons, Edwards completely fell on his face early, leaving Fitzpatrick to come in and run the offense down the stretch. He did enough to earn the starting job in 2012, along with a big contract extension. But then everything fizzled and he left Buffalo a disappointment.

Now, he's got yet another chance at being a starter in Tennessee. 

Dude's clearly good at being in the right place at the right time. 

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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