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Seahawks were among least injury-riddled teams in the NFL

For a second straight year, Seattle ranked in the top-10 in fewest Adjusted Games Lost.

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images

Football Outsiders released its annual Adjusted Games Lost (AGL) injury report, and maybe it will come as a surprise to you but the Seattle Seahawks were not that heavily impacted by injuries throughout the course of the season.

While the Denver Broncos unsurprisingly were at the wrong end of the AGL spectrum with a staggering 148.6, the Seahawks ranked 8th with an AGL of 53. Only three of the teams with the highest AGL made the playoffs, and one of them was the 8-9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, six of the top ten teams on the good side of AGL reached the postseason, including both Super Bowl participants.

Last year, Seattle was 6th in AGL at 52.2, so they’ve done much better compared to the 2020 team.

Here’s the FO definition of their AGL metric, which has been in place for well over a decade:

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, Questionable, Doubtful, or Out. Introduced in Pro Football Prospectus 2008 essay, “The Injury Effect.”

If you’re so minded to reflect on the easiness/luck of the Seahawks’ schedule and how often they seemingly faced heavily injured opposition (win or lose), 11 of their 17 games were against teams that ranked in the top ten in most AGL, including the entire NFC West.

Much of Seattle’s injury problems occurred late in the season. Jamal Adams obviously was lost for the season on opening night, while Rashaad Penny was done for the year after Week 5. In December alone they lost Marquise Goodwin, Will Dissly, Jordyn Brooks, and Travis Homer to season-ending injured reserve.

On the positive side, Charles Cross played every game, Abe Lucas only missed one start, DK Metcalf didn’t miss a game even after his injury scare against the Los Angeles Chargers, Geno Smith played every snap, and none of Tariq Woolen, Michael Jackson, Uchenna Nwosu, Cody Barton, Poona Ford, or Quandre Diggs (among others) sat out a game.

Having this level of availability and continuity meant that the Seahawks’ depth (or lack thereof in many key positions) wasn’t stretched very often, which went a long way towards their unexpected 9-8 season and playoff berth.