Cornbread Maxwell wrote:The same can be said of so many things - like when KG alluded to tall RBs getting injured. If KG finds a statistical confirmation of this and acts on it and Green and Deuce get injured - thats not luck fellas - thats a whole bucketload of skill.
Okay I just did a spreadsheet. I didn't expect much to come of this, but it was actually pretty interesting. I pretty much took a list of top fantasy performers for 1998 and 2003 and looked at their entire careers. I ignored people who weren't getting at least 100 carries in a season.
I got a list of 61 running backs with a combined 368 seasons of playing experience. The average games missed over a career is 13.76% or a shade over 2 games per season. That's actually a useful statistic since it's a decent sample size. Don't fret about backs who miss 1-2 games a year. In fact, you should probably expect your stud RB to miss 2 games no matter what his history is.
Anyway here's how they break down by height.
5-8: 3 RBs, 5.9% or < 1 game missed/season. Not really significant since the sample is so small. Most notable player is Barry Sanders.
5-9: 6 RBs, 9.85% or 1.5 games missed/season. Again not really significant because of the small size. However, if not for Michael Bennett it would be about 1% lower. Notable players: Priest, D. Davis, Henry, Bennett.
5-10: 12 RBs, 9.69% or 1.5 games missed/season. Natrone Means throws things off. This category would be 1% lower also. Notable players: Ricky Williams, Thomas Jones, Marshall Faulk, Thurman Thomas, Charlie Garner, Brian Westbrook, Rudi Johnson, Emmitt Smith, LT2, Rudi Johnson, Tiki Barber. The most interesting thing is how many top backs are 5'10.
5-11: 13 RBs, 15.06% or ~ 2.5 games missed/season. Small sample size again, but the huge leap up from 5-10 is somewhat interesting. Notable players: SA, C-Mart, Shipp, Bettis, Portis, Staley, Jamal Lewis, Hearst, Jamal Anderson.
6-0: 10 RBs, 19.21% games missed. Definitely a steady increase in games missed as you get taller. Notable players: Stephen Davis, TJ Duckett, Edge, Tyrone Wheatley, Bam Morris, Correll Buckhalter.
6-1: 11 RBs, 19.23% or ~ 3 games missed/season. Notable players: Hambrick, Deuce, Dillon, Barlow, Alstott, Taylor.
6-2: 5 RBs, 11.45% or 1.8 games missed. This is why having a small sample size is bad. Notable players: Antowain Smith, A-Train.
6-3: 1 RB, 0% of games missed. The ultimate stud, Eddie George is the only person I've found this tall.
Definitely not leaping to any conclusions here, but the increase in games missed after 5-10 is interesting enough that I'm gonna go back to 1993 and possibly 1988 so I can add another 50-60 players to the sample and see how things shake down.