Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Bears Officially Named Most Injury-Decimated Team Of Past Two Years


John Fox was guilty of making many mistakes during his tenure as head coach in Chicago. Perhaps the most overlooked was his stubborn loyalty to his strength and conditioning staff since he came aboard in 2015, the same staff he brought with him from Denver. There’s no other way to say it other than the staff failed at their primary job of keeping the roster as healthy as possible. The Chicago Bears injury report proves that much.

Three years straight the Bears were struck by a string of injuries, particularly to their best players. Yet it was the previous two seasons where it got a little ridiculous. Combined in 2016 and 2017 they had over 30 total players end up on injured reserve either before or during a season. Many of them were starters.

Last year was particularly brutal due to the loss of wide receiver Cameron Meredith to a torn ACL and Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long to a multitude of ailments. It’s hard to win football games when your best players aren’t on the field. Now according to an in-depth study, Football Outsiders decided to make it official.

Chicago Bears injury report was by far the worst of past two years

Last year the website implemented a comprehensive system that hoped to turn injury losses into an impact statistic. They dubbed it the “Adjusted Games Lost” rating or AGL for short. In 2016 the Bears blew away the competition with a record 158.8 mark. Did they manage to fair any better in 2017? Not really.

“Last year, Chicago set the new benchmark for AGL in a season. The Bears almost led the league in injuries again, but a 10-game suspension to injured linebacker Jerrell Freeman (removing him from AGL for that period) was enough to give another old-school NFC team the crown. Since there were some changes to the participation rates for questionable players, we recalculated AGL totals for 2016. Those new totals are presented along with the 2017 numbers in the following table. The 2016 Bears still hold the record with 158.8 AGL.”

The 2017 AGL was 118.1, narrowly getting beaten out by the Redskins’ 121.0. The devastation was extensive. Among the key players they lost over the course of the season included Meredith, Long, Leonard Floyd, Kevin White, Willie Young and Quintin Demps among others. The fact they still managed to improve their record from 3-13 to 5-11 is a testament to how productive their rookie draft class was.

Hopes are high that the revamped training staff led by the respected Jason Loscalzo from Washington State can finally stop the bleeding.

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