It’s not a huge surprise to find out, but no NFL team lost more starter games to injury than the Detroit Lions during the 2021 season.
From the start of what wound up being a 3-13-1 season, the Detroit Lions were besieged by injuries. Left tackle Taylor Decker (finger) landed on IR just before Week 1, and during that season opener cornerback Jeff Okudah (Achilles) and wide receiver Tyrell Williams (concussion) suffered injuries that led to them not playing again.
The Buffalo News did a study listing how many games by starters each NFL team lost to injury during the 2021 season, while being sure to laud how healthy the Bills were (and have been).
Starters who were injured in the offseason, never played in the preseason and were out Week 1 were not counted. Those injured during training camp or the preseason, like Decker for the Lions, were counted. COVID absences, which were part of the list, were found to have only counted for about 12 percent of games missed by starters.
Not surprisingly, the Lions had the most games missed by starters due to injury duing the 2021 season.
At the bottom of the injury list was Detroit, which lost 134 games by starters.
Second worst was Baltimore (125), followed by the New York Giants (115), the New York Jets (113) and the Washington Football Team (111).
Detroit Lions were quite simply hammered by injuries
The Lions usurped the team who lost the fewest games by starters to injury, the New England Patriots (23), by over 100.
Just listing out some notable Lions starters who missed a lot of games accounts for a big chunk of those 134 lost games.
Jamaal Williams (11 starts, to D’Andre Swift’s four)-4
One of the more notable things from the Lions run of injuries in 2021 was they never had their projected five starting offensive lineman together for a game. Better health across the board, by luck or otherwise, should naturally bring more wins in 2022.