Which NFL teams are healthiest for the homestretch? We do an injury checkup for all 32

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As we roll through the final third of the 2021 NFL regular season, no team is completely healthy, but the impact of injuries is felt differently across the league.

The New Orleans Saints lost quarterback Jameis Winston to a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee in a victory on Oct. 31 and haven't won since. And the Seattle Seahawks struggled after quarterback Russell Wilson suffered a finger injury in Week 5.

For some teams, such as the Baltimore Ravens, the bad news started early in the season and hasn't stopped. Baltimore was hit with season-ending injuries to running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards and has since lost several other key starters.

On the flip side, teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys have weathered key injuries and are on the mend. As the playoff push hits high gear, ESPN's NFL reporters assess the health of their teams using a 1-10 rating system (with 10 being the healthiest).

Jump to:
Feeling good | Could be worse
Under the weather

Feeling good (Rating: 7-10)

Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)

Health rating: 8

Players on IR: 8

Starts missed because of injury: 38

How badly has your team been hurt? The Chiefs have been more fortunate than a lot of teams in losing 38 starts by 10 different players. Hardest-hit has been the defense, where six different starters have missed at least one game. This list includes Chris Jones, Frank Clark, Tyrann Mathieu, Willie Gay and Anthony Hitchens. They are all back now, which helps to explain why the Chiefs are playing so much better on defense. -- Adam Teicher


New England Patriots (9-4)

Health rating: 8

Players on IR: 13

Starts missed because of injury: 36

How badly has your team been hurt? Losing "passing back" James White for the season after three games has been the most crushing blow, along with slot cornerback Jonathan Jones after six games. And starting right tackle Trent Brown missed eight games with a right calf injury that continues to give him some issues. Those are the biggies. Everything else has been more of the shorter-term variety. -- Mike Reiss


Houston Texans (2-10)

Health rating: 8

Players on IR: 14

Starts missed because of injury: 33

How badly has your team been hurt? The Texans have been one of the healthiest teams in the NFL in terms of volume, but have lost some key players for a portion of the season, including quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who missed six games with a left hamstring injury. Houston has also had to deal with a lot of change on the offensive line, as left tackle Laremy Tunsil, right tackle Marcus Cannon and center Justin Britt have all spent time on injured reserve. -- Sarah Barshop


Los Angeles Chargers (7-5)

Health rating: 7

Players on IR: 5

Starts missed because of injury: 17

How badly has your team been hurt? The Chargers have suffered major injuries on both sides of the ball this season. Losing cornerback Ryan Smith is probably the worst. He was on the reserve/COVID-19 list, then he suffered a core muscle injury in training camp that moved him to IR, then he tore an ACL. He's out for the season. Coach Brandon Staley said the loss of Smith and an ACL tear suffered by offensive lineman Oday Aboushi have hurt the team. -- Shelley Smith


Buffalo Bills (7-5)

Health rating: 7

Players on IR: 6

Starts missed because of injury: 15

How badly has your team been hurt? The Bills' first half of the season featured a positive trend of an overall healthy roster. There were games missed by starters here and there, but overall, the team stayed on the field, which is part of why the "starts missed" total is low. As of late, however, injuries have started to add up, especially with cornerback Tre'Davious White suffering a torn ACL. He will miss the rest of the season. The offensive line has also featured some absences because of COVID-19 and guard Jon Feliciano's current stint on injured reserve with a calf injury. -- Alaina Getzenberg


Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)

Health rating: 7

Players on IR: 9

Starts missed because of injury: 13

How badly has your team been hurt? This has been a really healthy team for most of the season. Of the Bengals' 13 missed starts by first-team players, nine are from cornerback Trae Waynes. He has fought a hamstring injury all season and his return is unknown. But the Bengals have been very fortunate to have virtually all their key starters available this season. It's a big reason Cincinnati is in position to earn its first playoff berth since 2015. -- Ben Baby


Los Angeles Rams (8-4)

Health rating: 7

Players on IR: 11

Starts missed because of injury: 19

How badly has your team been hurt? The Rams' starting lineup has remained relatively healthy throughout the season, but it suffered a significant blow when receiver Robert Woods suffered a torn ACL in his left knee ahead of Week 10. Since 2017, Woods has been a key playmaker, so his loss has been felt by the offense. On defense, the Rams also have had to adjust without starting lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day, who was placed on injured reserve after Week 7 because of a pectoral injury. -- Lindsey Thiry


Dallas Cowboys (8-4)

Health rating: 7

Players on IR: 11

Starts missed because of injury: 37

How badly has your team been hurt? The Cowboys have had to deal with injuries of varying degrees all season. Quarterback Dak Prescott missed a game with a calf injury. Left tackle Tyron Smith missed three games with an ankle injury. Defensive lineman DeMarcus Lawrence missed 10 games with a broken foot. Pass-rusher Randy Gregory has missed four games with a calf strain. Safety Donovan Wilson has missed five games because of two different injuries. Receiver Amari Cooper missed two games because of COVID-19. Receiver CeeDee Lamb missed a game because of a concussion. Running back Ezekiel Elliott has played with a knee bruise since October. But all of the players are starting to return, including Cooper, Lawrence, Gregory and Neville Gallimore, who has been out since the preseason with an elbow injury. This break after back-to-back Thursday games is a good thing for the Cowboys, and they could be their healthiest coming down the stretch. -- Todd Archer


Arizona Cardinals (10-2)

Health rating: 7

Players on IR: 16

Starts missed because of injury: 43

How badly has your team been hurt? The Cardinals were hit hard by the injury bug this season, especially their stars, but they are mostly healthy now. Defensive lineman J.J. Watt is currently on injured reserve with a shoulder injury suffered in Week 7 against Houston. Arizona also lost quarterback Kyler Murray and receiver DeAndre Hopkins to ankle and hamstring injuries, respectively. They are back, but Watt is still out -- although there is a sense he might return at some point this season. -- Josh Weinfuss

Could be worse (Rating: 5-6)

Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

Health rating: 6

Players on IR: 8

Starts missed because of injury: 48

How badly has your team been hurt? The receiver and safety positions have been hit the hardest by injuries. T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell, the No. 2 and 3 receivers, respectively, have missed a total of 14 games -- seven each -- because of injuries. Their absences have put more pressure on No. 1 receiver Michael Pittman Jr., because no other receivers have taken advantage of the absences of Hilton and Campbell. It's difficult to have stability on the back end of the defense when starting safeties Khari Willis and Julian Blackmon have both missed a decent amount of time. Blackmon is out the rest of the season after playing just six games because of a torn Achilles suffered in practice. Willis has missed five games this season. -- Mike Wells


Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

Health rating: 6

Players on IR: 9

Starts missed because of injury: 48

How badly has your team been hurt? The Eagles have not been hurt as badly as in recent years, when they were consistently among the most injured teams in the NFL. They did lose defensive end Brandon Graham and offensive linemen Brandon Brooks and Isaac Seumalo to injuries early in the season. Graham's absence has proven costly, while the depth of the offensive line has held up well. Overall, they have enjoyed relatively good health in coach Nick Sirianni's first year at the helm. Injuries haven't been a major factor in their 6-7 record. -- Tim McManus


San Francisco 49ers (6-6)

Health rating: 6

Players on IR: 9

Starts missed because of injury: 62

How badly has your team been hurt? Relative to the disaster that was 2020, the 49ers have managed to stay fairly healthy after a foreboding start in the first week. No. 1 cornerback Jason Verrett and top running back Raheem Mostert were lost for the season in the opener against Detroit, and the Niners have also lost key players like defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and right tackle Mike McGlinchey for the rest of the season. All of those are significant blows, but aside from those issues, the Niners' top players have mostly avoided season-ending ailments. And though they got a big scare with recent lower body injuries to receiver Deebo Samuel and linebacker Fred Warner, neither is expected to miss more than a week or two. -- Nick Wagoner


Atlanta Falcons (5-7)

Health rating: 6

Players on IR: 12

Starts missed because of injury: 37

How badly has your team been hurt? The most significant loss for the Falcons doesn't have to do with an arm or a leg, but the mental well-being of the team's top receiver, Calvin Ridley. He has played in just five of the team's 11 games this season and still leads all Atlanta wide receivers in catches (31) and yards (281), behind tight end Kyle Pitts and running back Cordarrelle Patterson on the team. Atlanta was also without its best pass-rusher, Dante Fowler, for three games and lost its second-best member of the secondary, Isaiah Oliver (knee), for the season in Week 4. So the Falcons have suffered some significant losses, but have been healthy at other positions. -- Michael Rothstein


Las Vegas Raiders (6-6)

Health rating: 6

Players on IR: 16

Starts missed because of injury: 32

How badly has your team been hurt? Well, a year after the Raiders' projected starting offensive line played all of three snaps together, this season's projected O-line never got on the field for a regular-season game. Not with left guard Richie Incognito injuring his right calf in a joint practice with the Rams on Aug. 19, and not with right guard Denzelle Good being lost for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee in the opener against the Ravens. Pro Bowlers Darren Waller (ankle/knee) and Josh Jacobs (ankle) have each missed two games at tight end and running back, respectively. The Raiders have been relatively healthy on defense, with cornerback Trayvon Mullen missing seven games thus far with a toe injury. -- Paul Gutierrez


Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)

Health rating: 5

Players on IR: 8

Starts missed because of injury: 56

How badly has your team been hurt? Losing receiver DJ Chark (the team's best deep threat), WR/KR Jamal Agnew (who had stepped into Chark's role) and tight end Dan Arnold took a major chunk out of the offense. Those injuries, as well as the healthy receivers struggling to get separation and dropping passes, are the biggest reasons for quarterback Trevor Lawrence's struggles since the Week 7 bye. Lawrence threw just one TD pass in November, and now the Jaguars are tweaking the offense to include more read-option elements to try and get something going. -- Michael DiRocco


Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1)

Health rating: 5

Players on IR: 9

Starts missed because of injury: 46

How badly has your team been hurt? The Steelers have struggled to stay healthy this season -- especially on defense. At defensive end, Stephon Tuitt hasn't played a down since knee surgery earlier this year, and Tyson Alualu hasn't played since fracturing his ankle in Week 2. Linebacker T.J. Watt, usually so durable, has missed time with a groin injury and a knee and hip injury, and also landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Nearly every position group has missed a starter at one point this season. -- Brooke Pryor


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Cleveland Browns (6-6)

Health rating: 5

Players on IR: 10

Starts missed because of injury: 32

How badly has your team been hurt? The Browns have had several key players miss time this year, including running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and right tackle Jack Conklin, who is now out for the season with a knee injury. But the biggest issue has been the health of QB Baker Mayfield, who has been playing through a torn labrum in his left non-throwing shoulder since Week 2. -- Jake Trotter


Miami Dolphins (6-7)

Health rating: 5

Players on IR: 15

Starts missed because of injury: 50

How badly has your team been hurt? In their first two games of the season, the Dolphins' star nose tackle Raekwon Davis and starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered injuries that landed them on injured reserve. The revamped receiver trio of DeVante Parker, William Fuller and Jaylen Waddle have played zero snaps together with Tagovailoa, and Parker and Fuller have combined to miss 15 games this season. Miami's overall health impacted its 1-7 start, but the team has found a way to push through it during its current five-game winning streak. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques


Washington Football Team (6-6)

Health rating: 5

Players on IR: 15

Starts missed because of injury: 54

How badly has your team been hurt? It is banged-up, but has managed to hang around because of improved depth. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was hurt in the second quarter of the season opener, but Taylor Heinicke has played well enough in his absence. Washington already has played four centers. Receiver Curtis Samuel, a prized free agent, has made little impact because of injuries this season, and the team is without young defensive ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Tight end Logan Thomas, the team's best red zone threat, missed five games with a hamstring injury and might miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury. Despite all of this, Washington recovered from a 2-6 start to stay in the playoff hunt. -- John Keim


Denver Broncos (6-6)

Health rating: 5

Players on IR: 17

Starts missed because of injury: 54

How badly has your team been hurt? Just to start, the Broncos have had outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, receiver Jerry Jeudy, receiver KJ Hamler, guard Graham Glasgow and both starting inside linebackers (Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson) on injured reserve this season. Hamler, Glasgow, Jewell and Johnson will miss the remainder of the season. Nickel cornerback Bryce Callahan is also on IR. They have been battered, and as a result, their rookie class has been thrown into the deep end of the pool. Four rookies played on defense -- three started -- in the Week 12 win against the Chargers, and six rookies are getting significant snaps each week. -- Jeff Legwold

Under the weather (Rating: 0-4)

Chicago Bears (4-8)

Health rating: 4

Players on IR: 6

Starts missed because of injury: 22

How badly has your team been hurt? Whether it be quarterback Justin Fields, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, receiver Allen Robinson, pass-rusher Khalil Mack or safety Eddie Jackson, the Bears have lost a lot of front-line talent to injury. It's not the sheer number of injured players; it's the quality of those missing positional players that has the Bears in a bind. They really can't afford to lose any more of those starters. -- Jeff Dickerson


Minnesota Vikings (5-7)

Health rating: 4

Players on IR: 9

Starts missed because of injury: 32

How badly has your team been hurt? Minnesota is dealing with considerable injuries on defense for a second straight year -- especially along the defensive line, with injuries to Danielle Hunter and Michael Pierce and absences from Dalvin Tomlinson (COVID-19) and Everson Griffen (non-football illness) forcing the Vikings to get creative in the ways they move linemen around. The secondary took several hits, too, with cornerback Patrick Peterson being on IR for three games and safety Harrison Smith having to miss two games while on the reserve/COVID-19 list. -- Courtney Cronin


Detroit Lions (1-10-1)

Health rating: 4

Players on IR: 17

Starts missed because of injury: 39

How badly has your team been hurt? Entering the Lions' season opener, images of eight Detroit players were stamped outside of Ford Field -- billed as key faces on the squad. As a reminder of how badly injuries have affected this team, three of those guys have suffered season-ending injuries -- cornerback Jeff Okudah, center Frank Ragnow and linebacker Romeo Okwara -- with offensive tackle Taylor Decker also missing the first eight games. The injuries have been brutal in Motown. Okudah's Achilles tear in Week 1 may have hurt the most, as the No. 2 overall pick from 2020 was looking to reinvent himself after a strong training camp. -- Eric Woodyard


New York Jets (3-9)

Health rating: 4

Players on IR: 17

Starts missed because of injury: 72

How badly has your team been hurt? The Jets lost two of their best players on defense to season-ending Achilles injuries -- defensive end Carl Lawson (preseason) and safety Marcus Maye (Week 9). The Lawson injury was crushing because he was their only proven edge rusher. Truth be told, their overall lack of depth on defense has been exposed by injuries. On offense, quarterback Zach Wilson missed four games, but the unit actually functioned at a higher level without him. -- Rich Cimini


Tennessee Titans (8-4)

Health rating: 4

Players on IR: 18

Starts missed because of injury: 37

How badly has your team been hurt? Mike Vrabel's next man up mentality has applied to this year's Titans to the fullest. Tennessee has used 86 different players on game day. That is an NFL record. The list of players on injured reserve reads like a Pro Bowl roster. Receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, running back Derrick Henry and pass-rusher Bud Dupree are some of the top names. As the Titans finish the back end of the schedule, they hope to get some of their top players back from injured reserve. -- Turron Davenport


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Seattle Seahawks (4-8)

Health rating: 3

Players on IR: 13

Starts missed because of injury: 25

How badly has your team been hurt? Russell Wilson's finger injury badly hurt the Seahawks in two ways. While he was sidelined for the first time in his career, they went 1-3 in the four games they had to finish without him. And Wilson hasn't been the same since he's been back, uncharacteristically missing throws during a three-game losing streak that coincided with his return from surgery. Another reason their offense only scored 26 points during that stretch is that they haven't had a running game to lean on without Chris Carson, who's been out since Week 5 with a neck injury that required season-ending surgery. -- Brady Henderson


Carolina Panthers (5-7)

Health rating: 3

Players on IR: 13

Starts missed because of injury: 51

How badly has your team been hurt? The list is long, but it starts with rookie cornerback Jaycee Horn and running back Christian McCaffrey, both injured in a Week 3 win at Houston. The Panthers went from 3-0 to 5-7 now. The defense, which ranked No. 1 in the NFL at the time, struggled to replace Horn's man-to-man coverage. Quarterback Sam Darnold never was fully comfortable without McCaffrey, his security blanket. His Total QBR was half of what it was with McCaffrey. Statistics show the Panthers are significantly better with McCaffrey, now out for the rest of the season after going on IR for the second time this year. -- David Newton


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3)

Health rating: 3

Players on IR: 14

Starts missed because of injury: 51

How badly has your team been hurt? The Bucs have been beyond ravaged by injuries, to the point where Sunday's game against Atlanta was the first time their starting defensive backfield played a game together this season. Offensively, they have missed tight end Rob Gronkowski and receiver Antonio Brown the most when out, but thankfully, receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and running back Leonard Fournette have been consistent, reliable performers for quarterback Tom Brady. They have also been very fortunate that outside linebacker Joe Tryon has been able to bolster their rotation while Jason Pierre-Paul continues to play through a torn rotator cuff. -- Jenna Laine


New Orleans Saints (5-7)

Health rating: 2

Players on IR: 22

Starts missed because of injury: 78

How badly has your team been hurt? The Saints' injuries have been overwhelming, both in terms of quantity and quality of players. They lost receiver Michael Thomas for the entire season. They haven't won a game since QB Jameis Winston tore his left ACL in Week 8, and now backup Taysom Hill is hurt, too. Offensive stars like running back Alvin Kamara and offensive tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk have missed a combined 12 games. They even lost former Pro Bowl kicker Wil Lutz for the season -- and have tried four replacements since. The toll? Their first five-game losing streak in a single season since coach Sean Payton arrived in 2006, and a strong chance they will miss the playoffs after winning the past four NFC South titles. -- Mike Triplett


New York Giants (4-8)

Health rating: 2

Players on IR: 23

Starts missed because of injury: 68

How badly has your team been hurt? The string of injuries, especially on offense to players at the skill positions, has been silly. The Giants' top six playmakers have each missed at least two games. Add in two starting offensive linemen being lost for the season within the first two weeks, and that is how you end up with one of the league's worst offenses. And now the Giants have to deal with uncertainty with their quarterback, Daniel Jones, dealing with a neck injury. It has made it a tough season for the Fighting Joe Judges. -- Jordan Raanan


Green Bay Packers (9-3)

Health rating: 1

Players on IR: 9

Starts missed because of injury: 64

How badly has your team been hurt? The Packers have been without their two best defensive players for most of the season. Outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith played only 18 snaps in the opener and hasn't played since, following back surgery. Cornerback Jaire Alexander has missed the past eight games because of a shoulder injury. Both were second-team All-Pro selections last season. First-team All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari hasn't played a down this season while attempting to come back from ACL reconstruction, and Pro Bowl left guard Elgton Jenkins (who had been filling in for Bakhtiari) was lost for the season last week to a torn ACL. According to Man Games Lost, which tracks all NFL injuries and their impact on teams, the Packers and Ravens have been hit the hardest of any teams in the league -- not in terms of sheer numbers, but in missed games by important players. -- Rob Demovsky


Baltimore Ravens (8-4)

Health rating: 1

Players on IR: 22

Starts missed because of injury: 81

How badly has your team been hurt? Few teams are as banged up as the Ravens, but Baltimore has remarkably been able to overcome the widespread injuries. The Ravens lead the AFC North, which makes you wonder how good this team would be fully healthy. Baltimore isn't as explosive on offense without its top two running backs (J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards). The Ravens aren't protecting Lamar Jackson as effectively without Pro Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley. And the defense isn't producing many turnovers without All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters. But the team has been able to survive by winning some close games. -- Jamison Hensley