NFL Midseason Injury Report: Ranking All 32 Teams from Healthiest to Most Hurt
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Aqib Talib, Will Fuller, Travis Frederick
- Ian Hartitz sorts all 32 NFL teams into four tiers based on each roster's overall health heading into the second half of the 2018 season.
- Offensive line injuries for the Redskins, Colts and Ravens have hampered the upside of their offenses.
Football is a violent game. Players are at risk of being injured while playing it and while training for it, leading to a never-ending stream of injuries around the NFL.
There isn’t a single team that can attest to being 100% healthy after nine weeks of action. Still, some teams are in good shape at their most vital positions while others are hampered on both sides of the ball.
Let’s breakdown the health of all 32 NFL teams into four tiers heading into Week 10, from the healthiest to the most hurt.
Tier 1: Healthiest NFL Teams
The following teams haven’t had to deal with much adversity this season in the form of injuries and are in good shape entering the second half.
- Total missed games: 91 (10th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: C A.Q. Shipley (knee, IR); out entire season
- Biggest existing injury: S Tre Boston (shoulder, ribs)
David Johnson hasn’t had the healthiest offensive line to work with, and he could be without starting guards Jeremy Vujnovich (hamstring) and Justin Pugh (hand) in Week 10.
The defense has at least been mostly healthy, but it could use defensive tackle Corey Peters (ankle) back at some point.
- Total missed games: 100 (14th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: LT Matt Kalil (knee)
- Biggest existing injury: RT Daryl Williams (knee)
- Potential IR return: Williams eligible to return in Week 10
The absence of Torrey Smith (knee) over the past two weeks has enabled huge performances from D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel.
The offense could be even better off with its starting offensive tackles, but the defense is at least set up well after seamlessly replacing Da’Norris Searcy (concussion, IR) with talented free agent Eric Reid.
- Total missed games: 53 (third fewest)
- Injury with most impact: OLB Khalil Mack (ankle)
- Biggest existing injury: RG Kyle Long (foot)
- Potential IR return: TE Adam Shaheen (foot) eligible to return in Week 10
Mack and wide receiver Allen Robinson (groin) are considered day-to-day and are expected to return sooner rather than later after missing wins over the Jets and Bills.
Meanwhile, the potential return of Shaheen could be bad news for Trey Burton’s second-half fantasy stock.
- Total missed games due to injury: 77 (fifth fewest)
- Injury with most impact: DE Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder); missed Weeks 2-8
- Biggest existing injury: Backup LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (neck, toe)
The Lions are nearing full strength entering the second half of the season and don’t have any key players who are expected to miss their upcoming matchup against the Bears.
Los Angeles Rams
- Total missed games: 96 (T-13th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: CB Aqib Talib (ankle, IR); out since Week 3
- Biggest existing injury: DL Matt Longacre (concussion)
- Potential IR return: WR Pharoh Cooper (ankle) eligible to return in Week 10
The Rams were without Cooper Kupp in Weeks 7 and 8, but their offense has been otherwise healthy.
The defense hasn’t been quite as well off and has been exposed by No. 1 receivers since Talib went down.
New Orleans Saints
- Total missed games: 96 (T-13th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: CB Patrick Robinson (ankle, IR); out since Week 3
- Biggest existing injury: DE Marcus Davenport (toe)
- Potential IR return: WR Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) eligible to return in Week 15
The Saints have been routinely gashed by slot receivers following Robinson’s season-ending injury, but they’ve mostly maintained good health throughout the season.
Rookie wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith has seamlessly filled in for Ginn as the offense’s field-stretcher, though the pass rush will likely have to survive without first-round rookie Davenport for another week or two.
New York Giants
- Total missed games: 106 (16th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: DE Olivier Vernon (ankle); missed Weeks 1-5
- Biggest existing injury: LB Alec Ogletree (hamstring)
- Potential IR return: Jonathan Stewart (foot) eligible to return in Week 12
The Giants struggled to find an identity on defense to start the season without their No. 1 pass rusher, and their normally sound run defense has taken a hit recently with Ogletree missing time Damon Harrison getting traded.
The pass offense is at least at full strength after welcoming back tight end Evan Engram (knee) and wide receiver Russell Shepard (neck) in recent weeks.
- Total missed games: 95 (11th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: LB Ryan Shazier (spine, IR)
- Biggest existing injury: RT Marcus Gilbert (knee)
- Potential IR return: WR Eli Rogers (knee) remains on the PUP list
Le’Veon Bell’s holdout hasn’t counted against the injury count, but at this point, his absence could be seen as a blessing in disguise considering how well James Conner has played.
The eventual return of the offense’s starting right tackle will only help, while the defense has finally started to play better without Shazier on the field.
Tier 2: Recovering Teams
The following teams haven’t been complete strangers to the injury bug this season, but they’re getting healthy at the right time and are positioned well for the final eight weeks.
- Total missed games: 50 (second fewest)
- Injury with most impact: LB Deion Jones (foot, IR); out since Week 2
- Biggest existing injury: CB Robert Alford (ankle)
- Potential IR return: Jones eligible to return in Week 10
Like the Bills, the Falcons haven’t necessarily had to deal with a ton of injuries … but the injuries they have suffered have been felt dearly.
Overall, the defense has been without Jones, in addition to starting safeties Ricardo Allen (Achilles, IR) and Keanu Neal (knee, IR) for the better part of the season.
The losses of starting guards Brandon Fusco (ankle) and Andy Levitre (elbow) certainly haven’t helped the offense establish a running game without Devonta Freeman (groin).
The injuries on the offense line makes Matt Ryan’s early-season start even more impressive.
- Total missed games: 40 (fewest)
- Injury with most impact: QB Josh Allen (elbow); out since Week 7
- Biggest existing injury: LB Tremaine Edmunds (concussion)
The Bills have been healthy overall, but they’re battered at the league’s most-important position. Allen and Derek Anderson (concussion) are in danger of missing their fourth and second consecutive games, respectively.
The absence of, Edmunds, the team’s first-round pick, in the middle of the defense has also been costly.
- Total missed games: 108 (17th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: WR Ricardo Louis (neck, IR); out entire season
- Biggest existing injury: CB Denzel Ward (hip)
- Potential IR return: CB Terrance Mitchell (forearm) eligible to return Week 13
The Browns have quietly fielded an elite defense that has racked up a league-best 23 takeaways through nine weeks. Still, their secondary could be tested in the near future with Ward and E.J. Gaines (concussion) banged up.
The team’s never-ending injuries at receiver also recently includes Antonio Callaway (ankle).
The good news for Browns fans is that the offense has decided to finally feature Duke Johnson with Freddie Kitchens taking over at offensive coordinator.
- Total missed games: 79 (T-sixth fewest)
- Injury with most impact: C Travis Frederick (illness, IR); out all season
- Biggest existing injury: LB Sean Lee (hamstring)
- Potential IR return: WR Cedrick Wilson (shoulder, IR); eligible to return in Week 10
The Cowboys are built to dominate the line of scrimmage, but their normally elite offensive line has had to live without its All-Pro center for the entire season.
The addition of first-round pick Leighton Vander-Esch and improvement from Jaylon Smith helped the defense survive with Sean Lee (hamstring) in Weeks 4 through 6, but it will be tested again after Lee re-aggravated the injury during the Cowboys’ Monday night loss to the Titans.
The statuses of Randy Gregory (knee) and David Irving (ankle) could also influence the front seven’s performance.
Green Bay Packers
- Total missed games: 79 (T-sixth fewest)
- Injury with most impact: DT Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle, IR); out since Week 4
- Biggest existing injury: WR Geronimo Allison (groin)
- Potential IR return: WR Jake Kumerow (shoulder) eligible to return in Week 10
The Packers survived an early-season stretch with a hobbled Aaron Rodgers under center, though they aren’t exactly the league’s healthiest squad entering the second half.
The front seven remains a concern, as Wilkerson is joined by starting linebacker Jake Ryan (knee) on IR, while linebacker Blake Martinez (ankle) should be considered questionable for Green Bay’s Week 10 matchup against the Dolphins.
Allison’s potential extended absence should continue to be filled adequately by electric rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Los Angeles Chargers
- Total missed games: 90 (ninth fewest)
- Injury with most impact: CB Jason Verrett (Achilles, IR); out entire season
- Biggest existing injury: DE Joey Bosa (foot)
- Potential IR return: TE Hunter Henry (knee) remains on the PUP list
Verrett’s season-ending injury in training camp robbed the Chargers of the potential of boasting the league’s most-talented secondary, but the defense is at least expected to finally welcome back Bosa in the near future.
The front seven could use all the help it can get with defensive tackle Darius Philon (ankle) banged up and linebacker Kyzir White (knee) done for the season.
Henry is miraculously expected to return sometime in December despite tearing his ACL in May.
New York Jets
- Total missed games: 75 (fourth fewest)
- Injury with most impact: CB Trumaine Johnson (quad); out since Week 5
- Biggest existing injury: C Spencer Long (finger)
The loss of Bilal Powell (neck, IR) hasn’t helped the Jets’ 22nd-ranked scoring offense, but Elijah McGuire’s return from IR in Week 9 at least provides some depth to the backfield.
Still, the run game won’t have much success without improved play from the center position, and the passing game needs to show signs of improvement now that the Jets’ receivers are finally all healthy.
The defense has dealt with numerous injuries at linebacker and in the secondary, but none have been as crucial as Johnson’s absence in recent weeks.
- Total missed games: 114 (T-21st fewest)
- Injury with most impact: RB Marshawn Lynch (groin, IR); out since Week 7
- Biggest existing injury: LT Kolton Miller (knee)
- Potential IR return: Lynch eligible to return in Week 15
Derek Carr has dealt with a banged up offensive line for most of the season, and starting tackles T.J. Clemmings (knee) and Miller should again be considered questionable for Week 10. The absence of Lynch has also been felt dearly.
The team’s abysmal defense surprisingly doesn’t have many injuries to blame aside from defensive tackle Justin Ellis (foot, IR).
Tier 3: Struggling Since Camp
The following teams have been dealing with injuries since training camp and continue to have issues on both sides of the ball.
- Total missed games: 115 (T-23rd fewest)
- Injury with most impact: RG Ron Leary (Achilles, IR); out since Week 7
- Biggest existing injury: RB Royce freeman (ankle)
- Potential IR return: WR Jordan Taylor (hip) remains on the PUP list
The Broncos’ normally formidable defense is reeling. Linebacker Brandon Marshall (knee), cornerback Bradley Roby (ankle) and safety Darian Stewart (neck) were all unable to suit up in Week 9.
Meanwhile, Phillip Lindsay and Devontae Booker have managed just fine without Freeman in the lineup, but the running game in general will have its hands full with center Matt Paradis (leg, IR) joining Leary on the sideline.
Kansas City Chiefs
- Total missed games: 112 (19th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: FS Eric Berry (heel); out entire season
- Biggest existing injury: OLB Justin Houston (hamstring)
- Potential IR return: S Daniel Sorensen (leg) eligible to return in Week 10
The Chiefs’ porous defense should improve once Berry, Houston and Sorensen are back, but linebacker Anthony Hitchens (ribs) and defensive end Frank Zombo (hamstring) aren’t 100% either.
The offense should be close to full strength once center Mitch Morse (concussion) returns to the fold. The team’s general health on that side of the ball could at least help explain Patrick Mahomes’ historic start to the season.
- Total missed games: 86 (eighth fewest)
- Injury with most impact: QB Ryan Tannehill (shoulder); out since Week 6
- Biggest existing injury: LT Laremy Tunsil (knee)
- Potential IR return: WR Albert Wilson (hip) eligible to return in Week 16
It’s impossible to say a team is even moderately healthy when it’s starting Brock Osweiler at quarterback, especially considering how well Tannehill has played in 18 games with Adam Gase as head coach since 2016.
- Yards per attempt: 7.66 (seventh among 34 QBs with at least 16 starts)
- Completion rate: 66.8% (fifth)
- TD rate: 5.2% (10th)
The offense is set up terribly. Tunsil and starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James (knee) could join left guard Josh Sitton (shoulder, IR) on the bench. The defense isn’t exactly in a great spot, either, with defensive end Charles Harris (calf) still sidelined alongside William Hayes (knee, IR).
- Total missed games: 114 (T-21st fewest)
- Injury with most impact: RB Jay Ajayi (knee, IR); missed Week 3 and Weeks 6-9
- Biggest existing injury: RT Lane Johnson (knee)
- Potential IR return: DT Timmy Jernigan (back) remains on the PUP list
The reigning Super Bowl champs have been banged up for most of the season. Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery didn’t debut until Weeks 3 and 4, respectively.
The offense has struggled to replicate last season’s magic without field-stretchers Mike Wallace (ankle, IR) and Mack Hollins (ankle, IR) while Ajayi has been joined on the sideline by Darren Sproles (hamstring).
The defense will hope to get cornerbacks Sidney Jones (hamstring) and Jalen Mills (foot) healthy before its Week 11 matchup against the Saints.
San Francisco 49ers
- Total missed games: 103 (15th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: QB Jimmy Garoppolo (knee, IR); out since Week 4
- Biggest existing injury: LB Reuben Foster (knee)
The 49ers had only three total games from Jimmy GQ and Jerick McKinnon (knee, IR) this season, while key contributors such as Marquise Goodwin (quad), Richard Sherman (calf) and Matt Breida (knee, ankle) have also been banged up.
The secondary has the most questions with safeties Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder) and Antone Exum (concussion) joining starter Adrian Colbert (leg, IR) on the bench in recent weeks.
- Total missed games: 147 (third most)
- Injury with most impact: FS Earl Thomas (leg); out since Week 5
- Biggest existing injury: FS Bradley McDougald (knee)
- Potential IR return: RB J.D. McKissic (foot) eligible to return in Week 10
The Seahawks’ top-five defense in Football Outsiders’ overall DVOA has played better in its post-Legion of Boom era than anyone could have imagined, but the depth in the secondary will continue to be tested with McDougald and cornerback Neiko Thorpe (groin) banged up.
Chris Carson (hip) and right guard D.J. Fluker (leg) are considered day to day.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Total missed games: 113 (20th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: LB Kwon Alexander (knee, IR); out since Week 8
- Biggest existing injury: RB Ronald Jones (hamstring)
- Potential IR return: LB Kendell Beckwith (ankle) remains on the PUP list
The Buccaneers’ front seven is finally in decent shape after welcoming back Gerald McCoy (calf) and Vinny Curry (calf) in Week 9, but the continued absence of Alexander and Jack Cichy (knee, IR) at linebacker still hurts.
The same can’t be said for the secondary, which has been without Vernon Hargreaves (shoulder, IR) for most of the season and M.J. Stewart (leg) in recent weeks.
- Total missed games: 127 (fifth most)
- Injury with most impact: TE Delanie Walker (ankle); out since Week 2
- Biggest existing injury: DE Derrick Morgan (shoulder)
Marcus Mariota has been forced to get by without his favorite target (Walker) since Week 2, while starting tackles Jack Conklin (knee) and Taylor Lewan (concussion) weren’t fully healthy until Week 4. Mariota has also missed time with an elbow injury.
The defense has been feeling most of the pain recently, with linebacker Will Compton (hamstring) joining Morgan and safety Johnathan Cyprien (knee, IR) on the sideline.
Tier 4: Most Hobbled Teams
The following teams have already dealt with numerous key injuries and are the league’s most banged-up squads entering the final eight weeks of the season.
- Total missed games: 150 (second most)
- Injury with most impact: CB Jimmy Smith (suspended); missed Weeks 1-4
- Biggest existing injury: LT Ronnie Stanley (ankle)
- Potential IR return: RB Kenneth Dixon (knee) eligible to return in Week 11
The Ravens haven’t lost a key starter for the season to this point, but they’ve dealt with a consistent array of injuries to both offense and defense.
The offensive line collapsed in Week 9 without Stanley or James Hurst (back) available, and injuries to corners Maurice Canady (thigh, IR) and Tavon Young (ankle) haven’t helped the secondary’s consistency.
Hopefully the Week 10 bye allows Baltimore’s starters to get some much-needed rest.
- Total missed games: 110 (18th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: TE Tyler Eifert (ankle) has missed Weeks 5-9
- Biggest existing injury: WR A.J. Green (toe)
The Bengals offense has dealt with injuries to basically everyone except Andy Dalton and Tyler Boyd this season, while the defense faces the prospect of entering Week 10 without difference-makers Vontaze Burfict (hip) and Dre Kirkpatrick (Achilles).
Injuries to an offensive line that isn’t guaranteed to have Clint Boling (back) or Billy Price (ankle) could doom an offense that is suddenly lacking much of any fire power outside of Boyd and Joe Mixon.
- Total missed games: 121 (26th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: WR Will Fuller (knee, IR); missed Weeks 1 and 9
- Biggest existing injury: WR Keke Coutee (hamstring)
- Potential IR return: RB D’Onta Foreman (Achilles) remains on the PUP list
The Texans have struggled to protect Deshaun Watson all season and have been decimated at receiver and in the secondary. And yet, they sit atop the AFC South at 6-3 entering their Week 10 bye.
The team’s skill-position players remain banged up, while the secondary is nearing a breaking point with corners Johnathan Joseph (ankle) and Aaron Colvin (ankle) joining Kevin Johnson (concussion, IR) and Kayvon Webster (quad, IR) on the sideline in recent weeks.
Most concerning for fantasy purposes has been the usage of Watson after he was banged up in Week 5 against the Cowboys:
- Watson per-game averages in Weeks 1-5: 38.4 pass attempts, 6.8 rush attempts
- Weeks 6-9: 23.3 pass attempts, 4 rush attempts
- Total missed games: 205 (most)
- Injury with most impact: WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring); missed Weeks 5-6
- Biggest existing injury: FS Malik Hooker (hip)
The Colts have a whopping 55 additional missed games due to injury than the league’s second-most injured team.
Andrew Luck has magically managed to stay upright behind an offensive line that’s without tackles Joe Haeg (ankle, IR) and J’Marcus Webb (hamstring, IR), while the backfield is positioned for success after dealing with early season injuries to Marlon Mack (ankle) and Robert Turbin (shoulder).
Jack Doyle (hip) and Hilton (hamstring) have also successfully returned from injuries in recent weeks, but fellow receivers Ryan Grant (ankle) and Erik Swoope (knee) have replaced them on the sideline.
- Total missed games: 125 (27th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring); missed Weeks 2-3 and 5-9
- Biggest existing injury: CB A.J. Bouye (calf)
- Potential IR return: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (core) eligible to return in Week 14
Blake Bortles hasn’t played well, but he’s also been forced to deal with an abundance of injuries around him. In addition to Fournette and ASJ, the Jaguars have lost tackles Cam Robinson (knee, IR) and Josh Wells (groin, IR) for the season, along with receivers Marqise Lee (knee, IR) and Jaydon Mickens (ankle, IR).
The defense is far from 100%, too. Cornerbacks Tyler Patmon (neck) and D.J. Hayden (toe) joined Bouye on the sideline in Week 8.
- Total missed games: 119 (25th fewest)
- Injury with most impact: LG Nick Easton (neck); out entire season
- Biggest existing injury: WR Stefon Diggs (rib)
The Vikings have dealt with injuries basically everywhere except under center. Dalvin Cook (hamstring) finally appears close to 100% after missing Weeks 5-8 while the offensive line has already had to survive injuries to center Pat Elflein (ankle) and left tackle Riley Reiff (foot), in addition to Easton.
Things aren’t pretty on the defensive side of the ball, either. First-round rookie Mike Hughes (knee, IR) has been joined on the sideline by Xavier Rhodes (ankle) and Anthony Barr (hamstring) in recent weeks.
Diggs has historically struggled to provide the same level of production while playing hurt, and his absence in Week 9 led to Adam Thielen producing a season-worst 4-22-1 line against the Lions.
New England Patriots
- Total missed games: 146 (fourth most)
- Injury with most impact: LT Isaiah Wynn (Achilles, IR); out entire season
- Biggest existing injury: Rob Gronkowski (back, ankle)
- Potential IR return: Rex Burkhead (neck) eligible to return in Week 12
The Patriots’ ever-evolving backfield has had to deal with injuries to Burkhead, Jeremy Hill (knee, IR) and Sony Michel (knee) while the offensive line received exactly zero snaps from its 2018 first-round pick, Wynn.
Injuries to right guard Shaq Mason (calf) and Gronk haven’t helped, while the secondary will have to continue getting by without Eric Rowe (groin, IR) for the foreseeable future.
- Total missed games: 115 (T-23rd fewest)
- Injury with most impact: RB Derrius Guice (knee, IR); out entire season
- Biggest existing injury: LT Trent Williams (thumb)
- Potential IR return: WR Trey Quinn (ankle) eligible to return in Week 10
The Redskins’ entire offensive line has crumbled for the second consecutive season. Starting guards Brandon Scherff (pec, IR) and Shawn Lauvao (knee, IR) were lost for the season in Week 9, while Williams is considered week to week.
Alex Smith might not have anyone to target, even on the rare occasions that he has time to throw. Paul Richardson (shoulder, IR) and Jamison Crowder (ankle) are far from 100%.
Meanwhile, the secondary risks becoming too reliant on Josh Norman if Quinton Dunbar (leg) is sidelined.
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