Numbers and statistics are fun. Compiling numbers can be fun. And that’s what the good people at SportsFacts.org do. The good folks over at SportsFacts went through and compiled data on the injuries each NFL team the last four seasons.
To the surprise of no Saints fans, the Saints had the most players placed on injured reserve the last four years combined:
All in all, the Saints had 88 players placed on injured reserve the past four seasons - 11 in 2018, 27 in 2017, 31 in 2016, and 19 and 2015. The Saints actually made the playoffs in both 2018 and 2017, which should be especially an accomplishment considering these injury totals.
The next two most injured teams were the Washington football team with 85 and the New York Jets with 82, but there was just one playoff season (Washington in 2015) between both teams over all four years.
Obviously there are a few flaws with this methodology: it doesn’t differentiate those players placed on IR for the rest of the season versus those who eventually return. It also doesn’t account for when injuries happen. That is, one injury in Week 1 could be a bigger hurdle than two injuries in Week 16. It also doesn’t account for the caliber of player being placed on injured reserve nor the team’s record at the time of the injury. There might flaws with the way the data is presented, but it doesn’t change the fact the Saints have had a lot of injuries recently.
While the Saints haven’t had it easy due to the number of injuries they’ve sustained, their division hasn’t made things any easier. The Atlanta Falcons were the second least-injured team (44), and both the Carolina Panthers (57) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (65) were just in the middle of the pack.