Adjusted games lost for 2022 Ravens includes hangover from previous year’s injury nightmare

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The Ravens certainly dealt with their share of new injuries in 2022.

Nose tackle Michael Pierce and No. 3 cornerback Kyle Fuller went down for the season in September, top wide receiver Rashod Bateman suffered a season-ending foot injury in October, and star quarterback Lamar Jackson didn’t play again after spraining the PCL in his left knee in Week 13. Safety Marcus Williams missed two months with a dislocated wrist while others missed various periods of time in a sport where injuries are inevitable.

Baltimore also dealt with the lingering effects of a 2021 campaign that brought a historic number of injuries. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley, cornerback Marcus Peters, running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, and outside linebacker Tyus Bowser all missed time working their way back from serious injuries suffered the previous season.

We always see the number of players on injured reserve cited for team-by-team comparisons, but that doesn’t offer much insight or context. How many injuries were to star players and starters compared to backups or offseason bodies who never had a realistic chance of making the team? How many went to IR early in the season rather than late December? And how does one account for individuals trying to play through ailments compared to squads with cleaner injury reports most weeks?

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Football Outsiders uses a metric called adjusted games lost to try to quantify the degree to which teams were stricken with injuries. Instead of simply counting the number of games lost for each player on IR, the metric weighs the projected role for each injured player — starter, key reserve, bench-warmer, etc. — and also accounts for those listed on weekly injury reports who ended up playing at less than 100%. In other words, the metric doesn’t treat the absence of an All-Pro talent or reliable starter the same as a developmental player who was stashed on IR and also considers those playing through injuries that could impact their performance.

The Ravens finished as the eighth-most injured team in the NFL in 2022 despite having the biggest drop in adjusted games lost from the previous year, according to Football Outsiders. In other words, John Harbaugh’s team had nowhere to go but up, but the climb still proved too steep as Baltimore — relying on backup quarterback Tyler Huntley — fell to Cincinnati in the opening round of the playoffs.

And with the start to this offseason in a holding pattern due to Jackson’s uncertain status on the non-exclusive franchise tag, the Ravens may need improved health more than ever to take that next step in 2023.

Below is a look at where the Ravens have finished in Football Outsiders’ adjusted games lost metric in recent years:

2022 — 102.6 (eighth most in NFL)
2021 — 191.2 (most in NFL)
2020 — 59.6 (eighth fewest in NFL)
2019 — 68.7 (16th fewest in NFL)
2018 — 29.7 (fewest in NFL)
2017 — 101.6 (sixth most in NFL)
2016 — 62.0 (11th fewest in NFL)
2015 — 96.1 (third most in NFL)
2014 — 52.6 (seventh fewest in NFL)
2013 — 49.8 (ninth fewest in NFL)
2012 — 57.4 (13th fewest in NFL)
2011 — 18.8 (fewest in NFL)
2010 — 50.9 (15th fewest in NFL)
2009 — 28.8 (seventh fewest in NFL)
2008 — 95.0 (third most in NFL)

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