Next time you’re looking for excuses as to why your team failed this season, take a look at the Green Bay Packers, a team that made the playoffs despite having the most games lost to injury in the NFL this season.
Not just the Packers, but the Washington Redskins, who come second on this list, also made the playoffs. The Packers have lost 83 games to injury to their starting players, while the Redskins, who were knocked out in the Wild Card Playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks partially because of an injury to their quarterback, Robert Griffin III, follow with 75 games lost to injury.
The Dallas Cowboys, who once again failed to secure a spot in the postseason, missing out on the final day of the season in a do or die kind of game, rank third in the NFL and have at least some excuse to why it was the third year in a row without making the playoffs. However, there’s much more to it than injuries, as their Defensive Coordinator, Rob Ryan, was fired, not something Cowboys players are really supportive of.
Seven of the 12 teams that made the playoffs were in the lower half of games lost to injury this season, San Francisco and Seattle in the bottom two. You need luck on your side, not to mention ability, in order to go through an NFL season unscathed, and every Super Bowl champion has a bit of fortune to thank for. The 49ers lost only 8 games to injury this season; the Seattle Seahawks only 11.
Sometimes it’s not the total number of injuries, but who the injury happens to. The Philadelphia Eagles, projected to win the NFC East by many (for a second consecutive season) finished with an abysmal 4-12 after starting 3-1. Their biggest problem was a crumbling offensive line that just couldn’t get fixed, as tackle Jason Peters missed the entire season. That injury was part of 63 games missed by Eagles starters this season, costing Andy Reid, among other things, his job.
Full Injury List
|Team||Made Playoffs||Games||16g||IR||Key injury||games|
|1. San Francisco||Yes||8||17||1||WR Mario Manningham||4|
|2. Seattle||Yes||11||13||0||G James Carpenter||5|
|3. New Orleans||20||11||1||LB Jonathan Vilma||4|
|4. Chicago||23||7||2||G Chilo Rachal||6|
|5. Miami||23||16||3||CB Richard Marshall||12|
|6. Houston||Yes||24||11||1||LB Brian Cushing||11|
|7. Minnesota||Yes||24||12||1||WR Percy Harvin||7|
|8. St. Louis||24||10||1||C Scott Wells||9|
|9. New England||Yes||27||7||0||G Logan Mankins||6|
|10. Atlanta||Yes||33||10||2||CB Brent Grimes||15|
|11. NY Giants||38||9||1||S Kenny Phillips||9|
|12. San Diego||42||9||6||OT Jared Gaither||12|
|13. Baltimore||Yes||46||8||2||LB Ray Lewis||10|
|14. NY Jets||47||9||3||CB Darrelle Revis||14|
|15. Oakland||47||8||1||CB Shawntee Spencer||14|
|16. Tampa Bay||48||12||4||G Davin Joseph||16|
|17. Arizona||49||7||3||OT Levi Brown||16|
|18. Cleveland||49||8||4||LB Chris Gocong||16|
|19. Tennessee||51||7||5||C Eugene Amano||16|
|20. Denver||Yes||52||9||4||DT Ty Warren||15|
|21. Pittsburgh||52||8||5||S Troy Polamalu||9|
|22. Buffalo||55||10||5||WR David Nelson||15|
|23. Cincinnati||Yes||56||10||3||LB Thomas Howard||15|
|24. Kansas City||56||5||4||C Rodney Hudson||13|
|25. Philadelphia||63||6||6||OT Jason Peters||16|
|26. Carolina||65||6||6||CB Chris Gamble||12|
|27. Indianapolis||Yes||66||5||2||G Seth Olsen||11|
|28. Detroit||69||10||6||HB Jahvid Best||16|
|29. Jacksonville||69||7||6||G Will Rackley||16|
|30. Cowboys||71||8||5||S Barry Church||13|
|31. Washington||Yes||75||13||4||OT Jammal Brown||16|
|32. Green Bay||Yes||83||8||4||LB Desmond Bishop||16|