By this point in the season all NFL teams have injury problems, but some are worse than others. Are there any available measures of the extent of each team's issues? Perhaps the total cap charge for all players who are not suiting up for a given week's game? I'd be interested in including players who are suspended (Blackmon) or otherwise unavailable (Hernandez) too.

UPDATE: @BoZiffer asked, "Do you mean other than reviewing the weekly injury lists that teams are required to present before each game?"

Yes, I'm looking for something beyond those lists because they don't give any indication of how important a player is to the team. So it would be hard to answer the question, "Which team has the worst injury issues?"

  • Do you mean other than reviewing the weekly injury lists that teams are required to present before each game?
    – BoZiffer
    Nov 3, 2013 at 15:49
  • I know this is an NFL question, but perhaps if you could find statistics on Wins Above Replacment (WAR) for the NFL, you could get a good read on that. It's more often done in the MLB because their season is more practical for it based on its length, but possibly there are some similar metrics out there for football that could give the idea.
    – Nick
    Nov 4, 2013 at 3:21
  • Yeah, and the football season is shortened even further for the injured players under discussion here. It's not at all unusual for a player to be put on IR in the first few games. It's also hard to find good stats for, e.g., individual offensive linemen. I suppose the reason I was thinking about cap charges is that they're (AFAIK) defined for all players and that and is a meaningful if imperfect measure of the player's value to their team.
    – kuzzooroo
    Nov 4, 2013 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


Bill Barnwell, then of Football Outsiders, developed a metric called Adjusted Games Lost in 2008. It attempts to assign an "injury cost" to each game missed by a player.

He explains it further in a New York Times article:

That metric builds upon eight seasons of data, from 2001 to 2008, to assign each game missed by a player a numerical value of “injury cost” based upon a set of variables. Those include the player’s role on the team, previous Pro Bowl appearances and the historical effect of injuries sustained by a player of a similar caliber.

The rankings are released after each season. In 2012, San Francisco was the healthiest (or luckiest) team by a fair margin, losing only 16 adjusted games to injury. Green Bay brought up the rear with 100 adjusted games lost.

  • This is a much better answer than I had any right to expect! Is there a reason why this statistic is not produced during the course of the season? For example, I'd be interested in a quantitative read on whether New England has had particularly bad luck.
    – kuzzooroo
    Nov 5, 2013 at 2:51
  • 1
    New England and bad luck are antonyms :)
    – user527
    Nov 5, 2013 at 4:23
  • 1
    @kuzzooroo I'm willing to bet that Green Bay has New England beat in this statistic, especially after last night.
    – Ben Miller
    Nov 5, 2013 at 15:38
  • @kuzzooroo: I don't know why they don't do it weekly. The exact formula isn't public (or at least it isn't online that I can see), but there's enough detail in the articles that it could probably be replicated fairly closely. Nov 5, 2013 at 21:46
  • Can anyone find adjusted games lost values for the season that just ended?
    – kuzzooroo
    Feb 7, 2014 at 18:39

I stumbled onto an article that provides what seems to be total cap charges for players on IR (so it will not capture the injury to Aaron Rodgers that @Ben mentions)

With an assist from Brian McIntyre, a cap expert and owner of MacsFootballBlog.com, below is a list at the top five teams hit hardest from a cap perspective by injured reserve players.

Rams -- $28.8 million  
Patriots -- $27.4 million  
Texans -- $26.1 million  
Bengals -- $21.4 million  
Giants - $19.7 million  

The next five in line are the Broncos, Bears, Jets, Saints and Colts.

I went to check out MacsFootballBlog.com but the site no longer seems to exist. So I don't have a source for getting values like these systematically.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.