Sign up these left tackles for hazard pay

San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley recently downplayed the significance of a procedure he underwent to repair a damaged meniscus in his left knee.

The two-time Pro Bowl choice called the surgery "very minor but necessary" and said he would be full strength by training camp.

These sorts of procedures are part of the job description in the NFL.

Staley has actually been pretty fortunate along those lines recently. He has started every game over the past two seasons. But as the chart shows, every current NFC West starting left tackle has missed time and undergone surgery over the past three seasons. Each enters the 2013 season as a player his team is counting upon, with the contract to prove it:

  • 49ers: The fractured fibula Staley suffered during the 2010 season did not require surgery. That is why that injury was not listed in the chart.

  • St. Louis Rams: Jake Long suffered season-ending injuries to his biceps (2011) and triceps (2012) while with the Miami Dolphins. Both injuries occurred late in the season. The Rams said Long passed extensive physical examinations prior to signing with the team this offseason. They expect Long to start in Week 1. Last season marked the first time Long was not named to a Pro Bowl.

  • Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung started 15 games last season after recovering from surgery to repair a torn pectoral suffered late during the 2011 season. He missed six games as a rookie in 2010, four during his second season and one in 2012. Like Staley, Okung earned Pro Bowl honors last season.

  • Arizona Cardinals: Levi Brown had not missed a game since 2007, his rookie season, until suffering a torn triceps during the 2012 preseason. He missed the full season and is expected back in 2013.

2010-12 Medical Report: Current NFC West Left Tackles