Given that I am a bit of a dork, one part of the offseason I always anticipate is when Football Outsiders releases their Adjusted Games Lost stat. Given how the 49ers season went, we can figure pretty easily that the 49ers did a good job staying healthy. Nonetheless, the 2011 AGL stats and writeup are interesting to consider. And our boy Danny Tuccitto wrote it, so of course you have to read it!
It's no secret that the 49ers made their way through 2011 with fairly limited injury issues. There was one significant injury in Joshua Morgan going down with a broken leg, but other than that, the 49ers had few significant injuries. Michael Crabtree missed time with a foot sprain, and Dashon Goldson missed early action with a knee strain.
In breaking down AGL, Football Outsiders looks at injury status as part of the formula. The 49ers listed players on injured reserve or as out or doubtful for a grand total of 25 combined player weeks. For comparison's sake, if you take the 53-man roster and multiply it by 16 weeks, you get 848 weeks. That's pretty crazy.
In looking at the positions involved, the most injury status weeks featured the wide receiver position, and the fewest (while still being on the injured list) was outside linebacker. Parys Haralson was listed as probable one week, but otherwise, the OLB position was never on the injury list. It's understandable why the team would address the OLB depth in the draft. It is unreasonable to expect another injury-free season.
The wide receiver position, on the other hand, was a significant issue. The biggest problems were Morgan and Braylon Edwards. The team was thin at receiver much of the season and it likely cost the team late. It will be interesting to see how many wide receivers the 49ers carry in 2012. Whatever it is, the 49ers have improved their wide receiver depth. The question is simply how many they will carry in 2012.