NFL's most irreplaceable players

Aaron Rodgers, Ray Rice among most irreplaceable players

Originally Published: August 21, 2012
By Aaron Schatz | Football Outsiders
RodgersJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesIf Aaron Rodgers gets injured, Green Bay's season is in serious trouble.

Injuries are a way of life in the NFL -- aren't they Michael Vick? -- but some hurt more than others. A well-built team should have the depth to overcome the loss of a couple of starting defensive players, but how do you overcome the loss of a superstar? Some teams insulate themselves by picking up quality veteran backups. Other teams are stuck, hoping that the injury bug stays away from their most important players.

For each of the offensive "skill positions," we went through and looked at the five most irreplaceable players in the NFL -- based not just on the quality of the player, but the quality of his backups. And while all teams face the possibility of injury down the road, the Eagles and Cowboys may already have cause to be concerned.

Quarterbacks

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
We wrote about Green Bay's Graham Harrell problem a couple of months ago. The reigning league MVP is backed up by an undrafted free agent who has struggled mightily in preseason action against other teams' second-stringers. Last year, he managed only 5.1 yards per attempt; so far this year he's barely completed 50 percent of passes for an even-worse 4.6 yards per attempt. In other words, if Rodgers goes down so do Green Bay's Super Bowl hopes.


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