As of week 15, the Baltimore Ravens have had 18 different players placed on Injured Reserve or the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Now, this jumps out because a pattern is forming.
Just last year, the Ravens recorded a team record number of players on IR with 20 . The year before that, the IR/PUP count was at 19.
You can argue that it’s bad luck when you have 20 players on IR for a year, but when it’s three consecutive years, it’s more than just bad luck.
While it is true that the NFL has changed its policy recently to hold teams to higher standards regarding injuries, especially concussions. That could account for the abnormally large numbers, but if you compare those numbers to other teams in the AFC North over a longer period, it says otherwise.
|Total number of injures||113||69||95||88|
|Average number of injuries per year||14.125||8.625||11.875||11|
|Total number of injures since independent neurologists were hired||65||38||49||39|
Going back to 2009, the Ravens blow every other team in the AFC North out of the water when it comes to the total number of players on IR/PUP. The only remotely healthy years being 2011 and 2013.
The closest team to the Ravens when it comes to average number of injuries is the Cleveland Browns. Now that may be two players on average more ahead of the Browns, but when has ever being compared that closely to the Browns acceptable to any other NFL team?
Even if you factor in the employment of independent neurologists that occurred in 2013, the Ravens still reign supreme with the total number of players on IR/PUP.
Now, why is this the case?
While bad luck and timing does have a factor here because of freak injuries, it falls back on the coaching staff. Whether it be the medical or training and condition staffs, or how the coaching staff as a whole handle how quickly they push players to come back from injury whether or not they may be fully healed, someone or some staff is to blame.
“Getting the injury bug” is something fans like to use when a team is underperforming or playing badly and fans like to use the fact a team stayed healthy all season to be a reason why a team is performing well. The Ravens reside on the former side of the spectrum and need to find a solution in order to remain competitive in the ever-changing NFL landscape.