Is there a good measure available for how badly an NFL team has been hit by injuries?


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...

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The Cleveland Browns are bad. You've probably noticed. The Browns are 0-14 with two games to go in the 2016 season, leaving them with a 63.7 percent chance of finishing as the fourth winless team since the AFL-NFL merger of 1970, per the ESPN Football Power Index. They also seem to be getting worse: Although they nearly won several games earlier in the season, the win expectancy model soberingly suggests that the Browns have not been favorites to win in any moment of any game since the second quarter of Week 10, when the Browns led the Ravens 7-3 with 1:12 left in the first half. That was 271 minutes of football ago.

Are they the worst team ever? Well, if they finish 0-16, they'll be tied with the 2008 Lions as the only teams in NFL history with 16 losses in a season. We have better measures of team performance than wins and losses, though, so we can use them to paint a more accurate picture of where the Browns stand in terms of historic futility....

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There is no choosing in the NFL. It is not a win-now or win-later league. Outside of maybe the Browns, every team in football went into 2016 thinking that they had a shot at winning a playoff berth this season. Just about every team (again, outside of the Browns) is trying to win over the next seven weeks of the NFL season. (Even the Browns might appreciate a win or two right now.)

Every coach and general manager is under pressure to win now, but there's also almost always some sort of internal pressure to win later, too. We don't think about the later part of the calculation because we're so focused on the day-to-day operations of each team that the bigger picture puts in context. A team can enjoy little success in 2016 and still manage to build the team for the future; others can field a playoff team this year but have to mortgage their future or lower their ceiling.

There's plenty of analysis on what's going right and wrong for teams this season, but let's take a...

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One, I cling to what may be the false hope that one day, the game will be made safer, whether through rule changes or technological progression that makes it safer and easier for an individual to absorb a hit (such as a stronger helmet). It should go noted that this is not the first time that football has faced controversy due to its safety: A Harvard Magazine article notes that in the early 1900s, it wasn’t unheard of for more than a dozen collegiate players to die playing the game every year. As colleges began to cancel their football programs, the death of the game seemed all but inevitable. However, through rule changes (such as the legalization of the forward pass), the game was not only made safer, but was made, in my opinion, better.

Two, there is no such thing as a concussion-free sport. I once heard Andre Rison refer to American football as “the most violent game that exists,” but I don’t agree with him at all. I believe that boxing, MMA, and rugby are all far more...

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Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Injuries are the worst. That’s a statement that’s true of all sports, but save a few unfortunate exceptions, it’s never more true than in football, the only widely enjoyed game that happens to be so rough on the human body playing it at the professional level more than once a week is extremely hazardous to your health (which is part of the reason why any player that’ll talk about it will tell you Thursday games are awful). The absolute most miserable part about injuries are that they’re never ‘fair’ insofar as any kind can be, and every year there’s inevitably one team that managed to stay healthy all year and manage a great record because of it, even though there are potentially teams more talented, on paper, who catch the injury bug.

We’re not here to talk about those teams, though. No, we’re here, using information from CBS’s NFL Injury Report, to determine which teams have the most players currently on the IR and PUP lists — players that...

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USA TODAY Sports' Lorenzo Reyes looks at how character concerns affected big-name draft prospects. USA TODAY Sports

What does it say about the NFL, and about us, when at least a half-dozen men who have been accused of physical or sexual assault have been welcomed into the NFL over the past week, while Colin Kaepernick still has not?

Is it worse to be known for not standing for the national anthem than for being accused of hitting or assaulting someone? Is Kaepernick a less desirable member of an NFL team or community than, say, Oakland Raiders first-round draft pick Gareon Conley, who is being investigated by the Cleveland police on a rape allegation, or Cincinnati Bengals second-round pick Joe Mixon, who was caught on videotape knocking out a woman with a devastating punch?

As of now, it appears the answer is yes. At the moment, Conley and Mixon have more of a foot in the door in the NFL than does Kaepernick, the 29-year-old, six-year veteran who took the...

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What is an injury-prone player but a story we believe?

NFL evaluation departments are taught not only to evaluate players, but also to assess risk of future injury. That risk is one of the biggest driving forces in the difference between player value on tape and player value come draft day.

Jay Ajayi's knee issues drove him down into the fifth round of this year's draft, and as a skill position player with considerable upside, he's the most memorable present example of this. He's hardly the only one.

Offensive lineman Brandon Thomas hurt himself at a predraft workout and fell all the way to the 49ers in the third round last year. Wideout Ryan Swope went in the sixth round in 2013, despite several Wes Welker-esque qualities, because of concussion concerns. Swope retired from the Arizona Cardinals before he even played a preseason down. And these are just a few recent...

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Every NFL team has a bad contract or two lying around. It’s the nature of the beast when you’re working with 53-man rosters in a league that has an incredibly high attrition rate. Hell, roster building is hard to do in other sports, too; the Warriors and Giants recently won titles with the dismal contracts of David Lee and Tim Lincecum on their respective books, and that was with far smaller rosters in sports where future performance is more consistent and easier to project.

This stuff is very difficult, which is why merely looking back and picking out bad contracts with the benefit of hindsight is shooting fish in a barrel. Contracts that seem logical and financially prudent on the day they’re signed can quickly go bad for totally unforeseeable reasons. It took one quarter in 2008 to turn Tom Brady from the most valuable asset in football to, for that season, a sunk cost. It happens.

The value in looking back instead comes from trying to examine what was going...

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NFL Nation reporters assess the biggest injuries across the league for Week 11.

AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West


Rex Ryan says the Bills are healthier than they've been in a while, and he's right. DT

Marcell Dareus

, however, remains the biggest injury question mark. He was limited in Wednesday's practice because of a groin injury that kept him out of a Nov. 7 loss to Seattle. Signs are pointing to him being available this Sunday in Cincinnati, though. --

Mike Rodak

Starting left tackle

Branden Albert

is ruled out for Sunday's game in Los Angeles because of a wrist injury. Albert dislocated his left wrist and returned to last week's game with a cast, but Miami figured the long-term risk continuing to play Albert, who is one of the team's most important offensive linemen, was too much this week. --

James Walker

Tom Brady

(right quad) said he...

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Who would have thought that the hottest quarterback commodity going into the NFL season would end up being Mark Sanchez?

Well, “hottest” isn’t exactly what you might think. Monday, the Denver Broncos named Trevor Siemian the starting quarterback over Sanchez, who had every opportunity to win that starting job and still somehow managed to lose it. However, with injuries being a regular occurrence in the NFL, Sanchez’s stock hasn’t remained low for long.

According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, the Dallas Cowboys are one of many teams that have talked to the Broncos about trading for Sanchez.

#Cowboys one of many teams #Broncos have talked to about trading Mark Sanchez, Dallas source said.

— Jason Cole (@JasonColeBR) August 29, 2016

NFL Network’s Jane Slater had a similar report, but noted that Denver had contacted Dallas, and that the Cowboys aren’t interested in a trade if it involves the quarterback’s...

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If you’re worried about the level of play in the NFL, you have an unlikely ally: coaches and executives. “Everything from defensive linemen not knowing where their eyes should be looking, not knowing where blocks are coming from,” said Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. “Defensive backs not recognizing routes, not knowing how to burst, stop, start, and change direction so they don’t tear their ACLs. Offensive linemen not knowing where blitzers are coming from. Just not a lot of technique anywhere.”

It’s rare for NFL coaches and executives to agree en masse on anything, but these days, nearly all of them seem to be fretting about a new and game-changing trend: The NFL is getting dangerously young due to changes at both ends of the age spectrum, with record numbers of less experienced rookies entering the league and veterans getting the boot.

“This is a real serious concern,” Harbaugh said. “Not just for the quality of the...

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You're not a downer, Stefan—you've hit the nail on the head. More than anything, Sunday's Super Bowl showed us how corny things can get when the people in charge feel like they can't miss. As we've heard a million times this season, NFL football is more popular than ever. Conventional wisdom in the board room is to see that as a green light to juice up everything: the national anthem, the halftime show, the coin toss, the commentary, the hype. The game action was the only watchable part of the telecast.

Watching that kitschy production, it's clear what the players' association is up against as it steps to the negotiation table—fireworks and spacesuits and lots of money. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is the poster child of this labor dispute. He claims that the players make too much money, that the owners need more of the league's revenue so they can do … what exactly? "I built a stadium and that stadium costs money," Jones said last May. "And by the way, as everybody knows,...

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