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Titans' Brian Orakpo looks to ditch 'injury risk' label

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Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Brian Orakpo has only played in 24 games over the past three seasons due to some lingering pectoral issues, so he has unfortunately been hit with the label of 'oft-injured player.'

Naturally, he doesn't like it.

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"Yeah, I get it," he said, via ESPN.com. "Two of the last three years I've been hurt with the pecs. Before that I was good. So I hate to get hit with that label, because I've never been hit with that label before. It sucks, but at the same time I get it and hopefully I can overcome them and get back to what I was doing before."

Criticising any player for injuries that weren't the direct result of their own negligence or stupidity is ridiculous. So is the 'injury risk' label as a whole. In between the 2012 and 2014 games in question, Orakpo was still a Pro Bowl alternate in 2013. He has demonstrated an ability to play at an extremely high level over the course of his career.

Had it not been for an unfortunate circumstance -- and Orakpo's willingness to suit up again after what has to be a painful injury -- he would be talked about as one of the league's premier pass rushers.

Instead, the focus of Orakpo's recent career has been injuries.

If Orakpo can stay healthy in 2015, he may be able to change that conversation. After essentially compiling 40 sacks in four healthy seasons, it's what he deserves.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Jordy Nelson's knee injury and gives its winners and losers from Week 2 of the preseason.

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