Continue Reading Below
That cost is to the tune of $500 million, according to an Associated Press study.
The study involved Week 1 starters who missed games because of injuries this season and players who ended the year on injured reserve.
The players sidelined the most in a league were those in the heart of the action, the wide receivers.
Concussions were up slightly over last year despite the recent focus on limiting head injuries. Concussions rose to 145 this year, 10 more than in 2018. The AP's analysis found concussions cost more in terms of salary and salary-cap hits on average, ahead of knee, neck and ankle injuries.
Cornerbacks and safeties were second and third on the list.
Kansas City Chiefs star Tyreek Hill missed four of the 567 games that 74 receivers were sidelined for in 2019, costing teams a position-high $72 million.
The estimated $521 million spent on players checked by the AP doesn't include players who became starters after Week 1 and later missed games with injuries.
More than 60 percent of injuries this season came in the lower extremities, with knees No. 1, according to the injury information released by the NFL last Thursday.
“This is a big deal this is not only from a player availability standpoint from a club perspective but from a player perspective,” said Leigh Weiss, a physical therapist and the New York Giants' director of rehabilitation. "It’s their ability to make a team, it’s their ability to perform at the highest level, it’s their ability to stay healthy, and that to us is paramount.”
The study also found players making under $1 million per year are more likely to land on injured reserve than those who make more.
The San Francisco 49ers are preparing for the Super Bowl despite leading the league in games missed due to injuries as counted by AP.
The 49ers finished with 16 players on injured reserve.
As for the Chiefs, their opponent on Sunday, only five teams lost fewer games to injuries counted by the AP.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.