Good health helped NFC West leaders

2012 Fewest Starter Games Lost to Injury

The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks kept their starting lineups generally healthy during the 2012 regular season.

That has changed recently. San Francisco is hoping defensive end Justin Smith can function in the playoffs despite a triceps injury. Seattle placed defensive end Chris Clemons on injured reserve this week.

But in looking at the chart from Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, you'll see the 49ers and Seahawks ranking first and second, respectively, in fewest starter games lost to injury.

The St. Louis Rams were eighth. The Arizona Cardinals were 17th.

I've also included information on the playoff opponents NFC West teams have faced or will face. Note that the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers lost the most starter games to injury.

These are estimates based on projected starters. The numbers do not reflect snaps lost by key role players. They do not distinguish between starts lost by quarterbacks and starts lost by, say, free safeties or offensive guards.

As NFC East blogger Dan Graziano notes, the NFC West lost the fewest starter games to injury by far.