Redskins fans who thought that the 2016 team had an excessive amount of bad fortune on the injury front now have some hard numbers to back up their point of view.
The numbers crunchers at Football Outsiders have a metric called Adjusted Games Lost (AGL). It includes players who missed games due to injuries and weighing the raw number based on whether the player was a starter or a reserve. They also factor in the diminished capacity of a player who is on the injury report but plays anyway.
Per this measurement, the Redskins AGL in 2016 was 101.5. Only four other teams lost more games than Washington. That makes two years in a row where the Redskins were in the bottom five in terms of AGL. In 2015 their AGL was 119.1, 31st in the league.
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As one might guess, the offense was much healthier than the defense. The offense had 27.6 AGL, 10th in the league. The defensive AGL was 68.9. Only the Bears had worse injury luck on that side of the ball.
Kedric Golston, the starter at nose tackle, missed the last 14 games after suffering a torn hamstring. An ACL had DeAngelo Hall on injured reserve for the final 13 games. And whether you count Junior Galette as a starter or as a reserve, he went down as missing 16 games after tearing his Achilles just prior to the start of training camp.
I’ve always thought that the connection between how many injuries a team suffers and the program conducted by that team’s strength and conditioning coach is tenuous at best. There was no way, for example, that a strength coach could have prevented Hall from tearing his ACL in MetLife Stadium. An injury like that is just bad luck.
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But apparently the team thought something was wrong with the way that Mike Clark was doing things. On the same day that they decided to let Joe Barry go, they showed Clark the door as well.
They promoted Chad Englehart as the strength and conditioning coach. That may seem to be an odd move if they were unhappy with Clark since he was Clark’s assistant. But Englehart has been on the staff for seven years and perhaps the belief is that he has seen enough of both the right way and the wrong way of doing things to come up with an effective program.