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Notes: Detroit Lions among top 10 teams in ‘salary lost’ to injuries

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Data supports the idea that the Lions suffered more impactful injuries than most.

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Late in 2019, Over The Cap—a website that is often used to reference contract details—released an interesting statistic regarding the 2019 NFL season. First, they noted of every game missed from every NFL roster (through Week 16 of the season). Next, they took each missed game and calculated a “salary lost” number to it based on the player’s 2019 salary. So if a player was set to earn $8 million in salary in 2019 and missed eight games (half the season), the “salary lost” would be $4 million.

From there, author Jason Fitzgerald added up every dollar of salary lost from each team and looked to see which teams were most impacted by injuries this year.

It should come as little surprise that the Detroit Lions landed in the top 10 of Fitzgerald’s list. The Lions were ninth on the list, finishing with around $26.5 million in salary lost, fourth-highest among NFC teams.

Obviously, the Lions were highly impacted by the loss of Matthew Stafford for eight games. Detroit essentially lost $6.75 million of his $13.5 million salary after missing the last half of the season because of his back injury.

What may be even more interesting is looking around the league, specifically the NFC North. The Vikings and the Packers both finished in the bottom five of salary lost, with the Vikings losing just $2 million in salary.

It’s obviously not a perfect study to show the impact of injuries—as it doesn’t account for players that played through injuries, or players that were on low salaries but high cap hits—but it’s just another piece of data showing the Lions were disproportionately affected by injuries in 2019.

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