NFL’s 5 healthiest, most injured teams; previewing Bills-Vikings
As we prepare for Week 10 of the NFL season and slowly inch closer to the playoffs, it’s important to remind everyone that health begins to matter more and more. Teams with healthy rosters tend to start out battling their equally talented counterparts and the injured teams begin to fall behind.
Data shows that healthier teams tend to win championships. And though teams can get by with game planning, talent and a little luck, health will eventually catch up with the injured. Something else to watch for is nagging and chronic injuries in players who carry heavy loads for teams. As others get injured and their backups see more of the workload, their bodies can begin to break down, which can cause chronic injuries that can slow down performances as the season progresses.
Below are the five healthiest and five most banged-up teams from Week 9 using ThePredictors.com BUS scores.
Healthiest Teams Ranked by BUS Score:
- Philadelphia Eagles: 89.0 – W (29-17)
- Jacksonville Jaguars: 87.6 – W (27-20)
- Chicago Bears: 86.2 – L (35-32)
- Kansas City Chiefs: 83.4 W (20-27)
- Minnesota Vikings: 82.8 W (20-17)
Least Healthiest Teams Ranked by BUS Score:
- Los Angeles Chargers: 50.7 – W (20-17)
- Arizona Cardinals: 57.7 – L (31-21)
- Denver Broncos: 64.5 – Week 9 Bye Week
- Tennessee Titans: 65.0 – L (20-17)
- Carolina Panthers: 65.4 – L (42-21)
The NFL season has taken its toll on certain teams, and it shows when big-impact injuries start to affect teams’ win/loss records.
Some teams such as the Titans are sitting near the bottom of the list in health despite already having had their bye week, making the second half of the season that much more of a challenge. Meanwhile, teams such as the Eagles remain undefeated and also at the top of health grade, giving them the upper hand over their competition.
This week, we preview the Week 10 matchup between the Bills and Vikings, who will battle it out Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on FOX.
Last week, the Bills had a BUS ranking of 81.0, just below the Vikings in the top five at 82.8. Despite their high health, the Bills — who have been dominant this season — dropped a close game to the New York Jets, keeping the race for the AFC East closer than expected. Meanwhile, the Vikings squeaked out yet another late win, this time against the Washington Commanders, improving to 7-1 on the season.
The big story as it relates to the Bills coming off the loss is quarterback Josh Allen. Specifically, his elbow. On Buffalo’s final drive, Allen dropped back for a pass and as he went to throw a Jets defender grabbed his arm, causing a fumble but more importantly injuring the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) and nerve in Allen’s throwing elbow.
The injury, if severe enough, could cause multiple missed weeks as well as affecting accuracy, ball velocity and technique. Reports stated that Allen has a sprained UCL, an injury he has had in the past. He should be able to manage the injury, however, his practice time could be limited and his status for this weekend’s game remains uncertain. The Bills have been a powerhouse when Allen is on the field, so an injury to their star QB could have major effects on their success.
On the other side of the ball, the Vikings have been able to stay relatively healthy despite dealing with their own dose of adversity as well. Players like Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen have been playing through shoulder and knee injuries, but despite a few dings, the team has never dropped out of the 80s in BUS ranking. Their past six games have been decided by 8 points or less, helping show that being healthy can help teams win close games.
The Bills are a different story, as they felt the impact of injuries early in the season, especially on defense. They have managed to claw their way back into the high health rankings over the past few weeks to get that edge back. This new injury to Allen and a few others, including Jordan Poyer, Tre’Davious White and Greg Rousseau could be difference-makers come Sunday.
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All that said, as Allen tests his elbow in practice this week and as we get closer to game day, we’ll know whether his elbow injury is a minor one or of larger concern for a Bills team that will need him on the field in hopes of making a run at the Super Bowl. The Vikings appear to still be healthy heading into the showdown as they have their eyes set on another mark in the win column.
With this game and many more impacted by injury, make sure to follow @SportsDocMatt and @NFLonFOX on Twitter for injury updates and ThePredictors.com for the most updated BUS health rankings Sunday morning.
Renowned orthopedist Dr. Matt Provencher and his company, ThePredictors.com, deliver data-driven injury insights to football fans. In this first-of-a-kind role as Athlete Injury and Performance Analyst for FOX Sports’ digital platforms, Provencher provides important predictive player health and recovery information about post-injury performance, the impact of weather, field conditions and more.
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Source: FOX Sports