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    Injury Impact (11/02/15)

    By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
    Injury roundup – Analyzing the point impact of players on the injury report.



    Week 8 was not kind to star players. A host of Pro Bowlers and impact players went down with injuries. How will their absences affect their teams? We analyze the point impact these players would have if they miss games.

    The point impact is the net point difference without the injured player on his team relative to the backup. A negative numbers indicates a player that a team will want to get healthy and back on the field. A positive number means a team is better off with the player not active.

    Injury Roundup
    ­
    The Steelers just got Ben Roethlisberger back from a knee injury but lost Le'Veon Bell to a season ending MCL tear. The running back had gained at least 88 yards from scrimmage in each of his five full games this season. Bell is worth more than half a point per game to Pittsburgh. Without Bell, the Steelers have a 34.3 percent chance of making the playoffs.

    Steve Smith Sr. might have played his last NFL game. The Ravens receiver tore his Achilles Sunday against the Chargers. The 36-year-old said this would be his last year in the league. Smith is a fan favorite but his impact is nearly negligible.

    The Dolphins lost Cameron Wake to an Achilles injury on Thursday night against the Patriots. Wake had seven sacks in the last three weeks, half of the Dolphins total on the year. The defensive end is worth nearly a half a point per game. Miami, without its star rusher, has just a 12 percent chance of reaching the postseason.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick has been solid this year for the Jets. The journeyman quarterback is worth two points per game for New York over his back-up Geno Smith and 1.67 points over the third string quarterback. Still, that pales in comparison to other quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers who are worth more than a touchdown per game to their respective teams. If Fitz-magic were to miss the remainder of the season (unlikely) the Jets playoff chances drop from 66.4 percent to 56.2 percent and the team's Super Bowl chances decrease from the seventh best (3.4 percent) to the tenth best (1.9 percent).

    Good news, Matt Forte's knee injury is not season-ending. Bad news, there is no timetable for his return. The Bears will miss their running back but with a 2-5 record Chicago's season is already over.

    If Carlos Hyde is healthy (and plays), the net impact of Reggie Bush not playing is actually a positive +0.24 points/game. That's rough for the former Heisman Trophy winner.

    Point Impact

    Player Team Point Impact
    Le'Veon Bell Steelers -0.53
    Steve Smith Sr. Ravens -0.16
    Cameron Wake Dolphins -0.49
    Ryan Fitzpatrick Jets -2.03
    Matt Forte Bears -0.32
    Reggie Bush 49ers +0.24


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