GREEN BAY, Wisconsin – The Green Bay Packers have been hit hard by injuries.
Or, they were hardly injured at all.
It all depends on how you want to count.
The ManGamesLost.com website (subscription required) tracks injury data in major professional sports leagues. For five weeks, the Packers are among the 10 healthiest teams in terms of games missed due to injuries.
However, there is another way to look at it. As real estate is about location, location, location, injuries are about talent, talent, talent. From a talent-talent-talent perspective, the Packers have been hit harder than most teams.
MGL uses a metric called “Lost-av”, which assesses the impact of injuries based on a player’s approximate value as calculated by Pro Football Reference. It is because of this measure that the season-long absence of All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari is more than just a generic tally of missed games, no different than that of a metaphorical third-string long snapper. which came out with a particularly annoying hook.
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While Green Bay’s season injury toll isn’t that high, it’s who missed those games: All-Pro Bakhtiari (five), Pro Bowl outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (four), Pro Bowl goalie Elgton Jenkins (three) and All- professional cornerback Jaire Alexander (one) missed 13 games. So, according to the weight loss metric, Green Bay was the third most injured team.
With four straight wins, coach Matt LaFleur found it easy to find a silver lining.
âThere has certainly been a bit more adversity on that front,â said LaFleur, whose first two editions of the Packers have remained relatively healthy. âI think there’s an advantage to that just in terms of being able to play multiple people and getting reps. There is no substitute for live game reps, so you start to develop other guys. I think you really have the opportunity to develop your depth, so that’s good, especially when you’ve been able to win games. We never want to be without anyone, but if you are, it’s always good to participate in these games and still develop people and come out with a victory. Because that’s ultimately all we want.
The offensive line is a perfect illustration of this. Without Bakhtiari and Jenkins, the Packers found they had quality reserves in Elgton Jenkins and Jon Runyan Jr.
In terms of games missed, the Kansas City Chiefs were the healthiest team while the Tennessee Titans were the most injured.
In terms of injury impact, the Buffalo Bills were the luckiest while the Baltimore Ravens were hit the most by a wide margin. The Chicago Bears, who host Green Bay on Sunday, are in the middle of the pack.