Why do the Colts have so many Injuries?

This article and all of the research was written by 18to88 reader Dan Svirsky and edited by me.

For several seasons the Colts have been ravaged by injuries.  The endless wave of big names showing up on the weekly injury sheet has frustrated fans as the Colts have gone into several recent postseason games missing indispensable players like Dwight Freeney, Gary Brackett, and Jerraud Powers.  Moreover, on a week to week basis, the team has had to adopt the well-worn “Next Man Up” mantra.  The following study seeks to determine the following:

  • Do the Colts have more injuries than other NFL teams?
  • Can the Colts’ injuries simply be the result of bad luck?
  • What other causes might explain the injuries?

This study relies on Adjusted Games Loss data from the Football OutsidersAdjusted Games Lost is defined as the:

Measurement of the cost of injuries, both in terms of missed games and games where players were not able to play to their full potential. Estimates a number of games based on whether players are listed as Probable, Questionable, Doubtful, or Out. Introduced in Pro Football Prospectus 2008 essay, “The Injury Effect.

Below are the top five best and worst AGL rates among all NFL teams for the past five years. The tables list the team, the team’s average AGL over the past five years, and the p-value for team’s AGL, which I’ll explain below.

For the findings, click here.