Football is an exhilarating sport. There’s nothing like a touchdown against a rival or a tackle that stops a game-winning throw.
However, it’s also a very physical sport, leading to a higher risk of injury. We’ve already seen it in the 2022 season; remember the Tua Tagovailoa hit?
So, we decided to go through more than a decade of data to determine which NFL teams are the most injury-prone in the league.
We also determined which football positions are most likely to get hurt and the most common type of injury that lands them on the sidelines.
Most Injury-Prone NFL Teams
To determine the teams with the most injuries, we examined the weekly injury reports from each NFL team, including reports of probable, questionable, doubtful, out, physically unable to perform, and injured reserve.
Despite having Tom Brady at the helm for years, the New England Patriots have dealt with a series of injury setbacks making this NFL team the most-injury prone in the league. On average, the team has 17 players on the sidelines dealing with new or lingering injuries each week.
Following the Patriots are the Indianapolis Colts (2nd), Green Bay Packers (3rd), Houston Texans (4th), and New York Jets (5th).
Not every team is hit hard with injuries. The healthiest team in the league is the Atlanta Falcons. However, it hasn’t necessarily helped the Falcons on the field. Despite going to the Super Bowl twice in 1998 and 2016, the team has never won the championship. On average, the team only has about eight players working through new or persisting injuries.
The other least injury-prone teams include the Pittsburgh Steelers (2nd), Los Angeles Rams (3rd), Minnesota Vikings (4th), and Chicago Bears (5th).
Most-Injured NFL Positions
If you do Fantasy Football, you know there are some positions you just have to take a chance and bet on to try to win your league. While everyone wants a good wide receiver and running back, players in those positions are some of the most injured in the NFL.
Looking at data from the 2021-2022 season, we found that wide receivers had the most injuries. 223 wide receivers reported injuries that season ranging from issues with their hamstring to their knee and ankle. Cornerbacks reported the second-highest number of injuries, with 210 getting hurt, and 151 linebackers ended up on the sidelines because of injuries.
Running backs had 143 injuries making it the 4th most injured position. The top injuries running backs faced were related to their knee, ankle, and hamstring. As for quarterbacks, the most common physical issues were to their knees, ankles, and heads (concussions).
Most-Injured NFL Teams in 2021-2022
Looking specifically at the 2021-2022 season, the New York Giants dealt with the highest number of injuries, reporting 369 throughout the season. That’s about 21 players dealing with new or recurring injuries each week.
Behind the Giants were the Tennessee Titans (2nd), New England Patriots (3rd), Baltimore Ravens (4th), and Detroit Lions (5th).
Despite many safety procedures in place, injuries happen. Since 2015, there have been 1,596 concussions in the NFL. The most happened in 2017, when 281 concussions were reported. The numbers dropped these last couple of years as the NFL made adjustments to concussion protocols, but there were also fewer games played in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Another major injury many NFL players deal with are ACL and MCL tears. These tears to the ligaments in the knee can be season-ending, often leading to surgery. In 2021, 199 NFL players tore their ACL or MCL.
When it comes down to it, any sport can be dangerous, but because of the physical nature of the game, many NFL players often face more injuries than others. While some teams appear to have some of the worst luck in the league, they’ll play for their love of the game. We’re hoping they play as safe as possible during the 2022-2023 season.
Using data from sports-reference.com, we gathered injury data from the 2009-2010 NFL season through the 2021-2022 NFL season. The average number of injuries was based on the number of injuries reported weekly including probable, questionable, physically unable to perform, doubtful, and out injuries. The stats included players dealing with the same injury week-to-week.
Data used to determine the most-injured NFL positions was based on data solely from the 2021-2022 season. The data on concussions, ACL tears, and MCL tears was from the NFL.
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