Cincinnati Bengals Injuries Most in the NFL

Over the course of the past decade, the Cincinnati Bengals injuries have seemed to ruin every season. Every time they have success in sight, injuries happen. The playoffs always included backups playing at times when the stars were needed. Could it be the Bengals have had more injuries than the rest of the NFL over the years?

The Cincinnati Bengals Have the Most Injuries in the NFL Over the Last Decade

The list of injured Bengals players in history is long. The bad luck for injuries goes past 2012 of course when names like Carson Palmer, Keith Rivers, Ki-Jana Carter, Ken Anderson, and many others are included. Since then, notable losses have included A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, Tyler Eifert, D.J. Reader, and Joe Burrow. The Bengals seem to have worse luck than the rest of the NFL.

Playoff Injuries

In 2012, the Bengals lost to the Houston Texans. They were without the services notably of Mohamed Sanu, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and Dre Kirkpatrick. The 2013 playoff loss featured the absence of Geno Atkins. It’s hard to win in the NFL without your greatest player. The Indianapolis Colts didn’t have much trouble in 2014 against the Bengals when their injured players included A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert, and Jermaine Gresham.

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The 2015 Playoff Loss

The 2015 Bengals famously lost in the playoffs to the Pittsburgh Steelers thanks to a fumble from Jeremy Hill and mistakes by Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones. Those things might not have mattered if Andy Dalton was not injured. He was playing at an MVP level until he was injured on a fluke play. While A.J. McCarron did a decent job in relief for the rest of the season, the Bengals were not expected to win without Dalton.

That season saw Dalton with a total command of the offense. His QBR was 106.3 for the season. Dalton passed for 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions before breaking his thumb in week 13.  This was just another case where an injury destroyed the chances of playoff success for the Bengals. This loss just hurt more, as it seemed the Bengals had finally built up a winning team.

First-Round Draft Injuries

Since the 2015 playoff loss, the injury bug has hit the first-round draft picks for the Bengals. The list of injured rookies is featured by Jonah Williams, Billy Price, John Ross, William Jackson III, and the previously mentioned Burrow. Every first-round pick since 2015 has missed playing time. Could the Bengals truly be more injured than every other team?

The Study

Pro Football Focus conducted a study showing that the Bengals have lost the most value for player games missed since 2012 for the NFL as a whole. Using Wins Against Replacement (WAR) as a measurement of the importance of players lost, the Bengals had the worst results overall in the past decade.

In fact, their study says that out of the 15 worst seasons for WAR-Adjusted Injuries Lost since 2012, the Bengals show up three times on that list. The 2020 season showing on that list will come as no surprise to anyone along with 2013 and 2018’s squads. That is three seasons out of a potential 320 seasons for the league that showed up in the top 15. That proves the Bengals have had worse injury luck than any other team.

This study will not bring any relief to Bengals fans, but it does show the team’s injury luck has indeed been the worst in the NFL. With that record of injuries, it is not a stretch to expect a statistical turnaround of the injury luck. A successful 2021 Bengals season will likely depend on it.

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