Top 5 Wide Receivers Most Likely To Get Injured In 2014

By Jake 2:07pm EDT 7/7/14

This is part 2 in our series on the players who carry the most risk of getting injured going into 2014. We covered the top five Running Backs who are most likely to get injured in our previous article. Now we turn our attention to Wide Receivers.

Our patented Injury Predictor algorithm takes into account over several points of data to work out how likely each player is to get injured in the coming season. More on that here.

Here is a list of the 5 wide receivers who we see as most likely to get injured in 2014.

Julio Jones

Statistically speaking players who have broken bones in their feet don’t fare well the following years. A quick review of players who have fractured the bones in their feet will show you who Jones is now in the company of:

  • Ahmad Bradshaw (fractured foot in 2011, aggravated it in 2012)
  • Andre Brown (fractured foot in 2007, re-fractured in 2008)
  • Chris Ivory (fractured foot in 2010, re-fractured in 2011)
  • Hakeem Nicks (fractured foot in 2010, re-fractured in 2012)
  • Michael Crabtree (fractured foot in 2009, re-fractured in 2011)
  • Demaryius Thomas (fractured in 2010, aggravated in offseason, ruptured Achilles in 2011)

It’s not pretty. With the exception of Demaryius Thomas none of these players were able to make it back for a healthy season after having their feet surgically repaired.

Now we have been given a lot of insight into this injury from both Julio Jones and Dr Andrews (more on that from Footballguys.com here) who both say this type of procedure has yielded very positive results in the past. The problem with this prognosis is that Dr Andrews has only performed this surgery on 12 players in 8 years which makes a tiny sample size to pin any real kind of hope on.

Our algorithm looks at fractured metatarsals along with surgery at a macro level and from our vantage point of having hundreds of foot related injuries at the wide receiver position we are confident in saying Julio Jones has a very high likelihood of getting injured in 2014.

We’re not saying avoid at all costs but his current ADP puts him at 1.11 which is way too high for a player with this level of risk.

Cecil Shorts

Cecil Shorts is coming off back to back seasons in which he was placed on IR. He has missed 11 games in 3 seasons in the NFL (add on another 3 if you go back to his last year of college in 2010) and had to sit out all of minicamp this year with a hamstring injury. Here is a list of the injuries he has suffered in the last 3 years:

  • 2011 – Hamstring injuries cost him 6 games
  • 2012 – 2 concussions had him placed on IR
  • 2013 – Calf injury kept him out of OTAs and preseason camp. Fractured his ribs and was ultimately placed on IR with a sports hernia that required surgery

There are much safer players to select in the rounds you will be able to draft Shorts in. Avoid.

Jaguars Cecil Shorts III 2013 Top 5 Wide receivers most likely to get injured in 2014

Percy Harvin

Percy Harvin is one of the NFL’s most perpetually injured players. He has had two seasons in a row that have involved very lengthy absences due to injury. His upside is enticing as his talent is evident every time he touches the ball, however he has only played 10 regular season games in the last 2 seasons due to injury.

Percy Havin’s injury history is well documented but here are some of the more severe injuries he has suffered over his career:

  • 2013 – Tore his labrum in his hip requiring surgery and resulted in him missing the first 15 games of the season
  • 2012 – Tore ligaments in his left ankle resulting in surgery and IR
  • 2012 – Needed surgery on his shoulder in the offseason to repair the AC joint
  • 2011 – Fractured ribs
  • 2010 – Migraines and ankle injuries caused him to leave a few games early and held him out of 2 games

Our algorithm has Percy Harvin as our fourth most likely receiver to get injured in 2014.

Marqise Lee

Lee exploded in 2012 winning the Biletnikof Award for his 1,700 yards and 14 touchdowns. However he was slowed by an MCL sprain in 2013 along with a nagging shin injury that saw him slide to 39 in the 2014 draft after he was predicted to go in the first 10 back in 2012. At mini-camp he had a bad sprain and was placed in a walking boot with reporters noticing a bad limp when walked around. His arrow is pointing down in terms of his likelihood in staying healthy in 2014. Rookie players in general get injured far more frequently than their veteran counter parts and it’s a huge red flag for a rookie player to suffer injuries in the preseason.

Marqise+Lee+Jacksonville+Jaguars+Rookie+Mini+kfuwKiMf5Mfl Top 5 Wide receivers most likely to get injured in 2014

Demaryius Thomas

Let’s preface this one by saying that the drop off in percentage of injury probability between the tier of Jones, Shorts, Lee and Harvin versus Demaryius Thomas is substantial. The players who carry similar risk to be found in Thomas’s tier of injury category are Edelman, Nelson, Sanders and Nicks. These are all players with significant injury histories who managed to stay healthy in 2013 and play a full complement of games.

Thomas has been a monster these last 2 seasons delivering huge numbers for his team and fantasy owners. What’s driving his risk of injury in 2014 are the serious injuries he suffered in his rookie and sophomore years along with the kind of usage the Bronco’s have in mind for him. To recap Demaryius Thomas injury history is:

  • 2010 – Fractured left foot that was aggravated twice and required surgery to repair
  • 2011 – Fractured hand that required 3 screws to fix
  • 2011 – High ankle sprain followed by a torn Achilles tendon during workouts in the offseason

These kinds of injuries tend to repeat themselves as well as lead to injuries in adjacent body parts (hamstrings etc). Thomas is expected to shoulder a huge load with Decker moving on to the Gang Green. Every time he touches the ball in a game his probability for injury increases. If another deep threat emerges on the team this could offset some of the injury risk associated with Thomas.

thomas copy Top 5 Wide receivers most likely to get injured in 2014

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