In recent days much has been made about the injury woes the Seattle Seahawks have faced during the 2019 season. Particularly of note, recently the number of man games missed has been tossed around regarding this year’s version of the Hawks, but the number that has been floated may be a bit inflated.
Heard this from @dickfain yesterday:— Brian Nemhauser (@hawkblogger) December 27, 2019
The Seahawks have 255 injury games lost this season, second most in the NFL. Yet Seattle is 11-4. The teams ranked 1, 3, and 4 on that list are 13-33.
For all the things Pete has done wrong this year, he’s done a lot right.
Now, it’s certainly possible to argue that the Hawks have indeed lost 255 man games to injury this season, however, to get to that count of 255 requires some creative computation regarding what constitutes a man game missed. Specifically, the only way to get to 255 man games missed through Week 16 is to count every single game missed by every single player on injured reserve, regardless of whether that player is a starter, a backup, or whether they would have ever made the 53 man roster out of training camp.
In order to arrive at 255 man games missed, it requires counting 15 games missed for each of the following players:
- Jeremy Boykins (0), Waived injured 8/31, reverted to IR 9/1,
- Adam Choice (0), Waived injured 5/29, reverted to IR after clearing waivers,
- Demarcus Christmas (0), Placed on PUP list 7/18,
- Emmanuel Ellerbee (7), Placed in IR 7/29,
- Justin Johnson (0), Waived 8/31, reverted to IR 9/1,
- Naz Jones (20), Placed on IR on 8/27,
- Demetrius Knox (0), Placed on IR on 8/20,
- Kalan Reed (7), Placed on IR on 8/27 and
- Jordan Simmons (6), Placed on IR on 8/31.
That number in parentheses after each name is how many career games each of those players have missed, and if you add it all together, it’s 40 career games. Naz Jones accounts for half of those career games played. Looked at another way, here’s how many career snaps played by the players who have actually appeared on field in a game:
- Emmanuel Ellerbee: 0 offensive/0 defensive/95 special teams
- Naz Jones: 0 offensive/416 defensive/68 special teams
- Kalan Reed: 0 offensive/21 defensive/68 special teams
- Jordan Simmons: 195 offensive/0 defensive/6 special teams
That’s a total of 869 combined offensive, defensive and special teams snaps. Just for comparison, Germain Ifedi has logged 1,103 combined offensive and special teams snaps this season.
So, in short, 135 of the man games missed are from players who likely never would have made the roster, and if they had their contributions likely would not have been very significant. In addition, another nine man games missed are from Phil Haynes, who I’m guessing we’ll get to see make his NFL debut Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
When whittling the criteria for games missed down to starters, the picture is far less bleak. Here are the games missed by starters, with the count including starters on IR or who are not playing in Week 17 including this week’s missed start:
- Ziggy Ansah: 5
- Nick Bellore: 2
- Justin Britt: 8
- Duane Brown: 4
- Chris Carson: 1
- Jadeveon Clowney: 3
- Ed Dickson: 16
- Quandre Diggs: 3
- Will Dissly: 10
- Tre Flowers: 1
- D.J. Fluker: 2
- Poona Ford: 1
- Shaquill Griffin: 1
- Quinton Jefferson: 2
- Mychal Kendricks: 2
- Bradley McDougald: 1
- David Moore: 2
- Luke Willson: 3
That’s 67 missed starts, with nearly a quarter of those coming from Ed Dickson missing the entire season. Between Dickson, Dissly and Willson, the tight end position accounts for 29 of the team’s 67 missed starts by this count.
Now, for comparison, here’s how the number of games missed by starters for the 49ers look so far in 2019:
- Tevin Coleman: 2
- Deebo Samuel: 1
- Joe Staley: 9
- Weston Richburg: 3
- D.J. Jones: 5
- Mike McGlinchey: 4
- George Kittle: 2
- Kwon Alexander: 8
- Akhello Witherspoon: 6
- Richard Sherman: 1
- Jaquiski Tartt: 3
- Kyle Juszczyk: 4
- Dee Ford: 5
- Marquise Goodwin: 7
- Jimmie Ward: 3
Adding all of that together results in 63 man game starts missed, which is not all that different from the 67 man game starts missed by the Hawks.
In short, both teams have been beaten up this season, and with the regular season wrapping up late Sunday, how teams are able to withstand injuries into the postseason could determine how deep into January they get to continue playing.