• Kyle Chap DPT

ACL Tears & Hit Rates: A Story of Statistics

Twitter: @DoctorChapFF



The dreaded ACL tears. This debate has been going around Twitter on who will bounce back and who won’t - thousands of back-and-forth arguments over Sutton, Saquon, Kelvin Harmon, Albert O, etc. For this reason, I decided to compile ALL of the ACL tears from 2012-2019 (8 years worth) and find the statistical analysis of “hit rates” and seasonal improvements in play. This is what I’ve found:



77 TOTAL ACL TEARS SINCE 2013 (Excluding 2020)


- 11 Rookies (Excluded from Pre/Post ACL comparison only)

- Only 1 Rookie ACL tear has come out to produce a WR2/RB2 season or greater – Dalvin Cook 1/11 (9%)


- 33 Players never played another snap again: 33/77 (43%)


- 7 of these players “hit” (WR2/RB2 or >) in a season post ACL injury 7/77 (9%)


- 8 total players showed improvement from pre-ACL season to post-ACL season: 8/66 (12%)


On the surface, this already doesn’t look fantastic for these players, but it’s better to break it down a few ways to get the best idea of who has the best chances to bounce back. Below I break it down Round by Round, Player Age, and then WR vs RB.


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ACL TEAR SUCCESS BY ROUND



UDFA


- 27 ACL Tears

- 5 Rookies

- 3 never played again

- Preston Williams (re-injured)

- 16 Never played a snap again 16/27 (59%)

- 7/16 had played in games prior to an ACL tear (44%)

- 0 WR/RB have EVER “hit” (WR2/RB2 or >) in a season post ACL injury (0%)

- 2 players showed improvement from pre-ACL season to post ACL season (all non-rookies included): 2/22= (9%)


NON INJURY REFERENCE:

UDFA RB Hit Rate (3.17%)

UDFA WR Hit Rate (1.81%)


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7th Round


- 4 ACL Tears

- 1 Rookie

- Highest WR88, played 3 seasons

- 2 Never played a snap again 2/4 (50%)

- 3/4 had played in games prior to an ACL tear (75%)

- 1 WR/RB have EVER “hit” (WR2/RB2 or >) in a season post ACL injury (25%)

- 0 players showed improvement from pre-ACL season to post ACL season (all non-rookies included): 0%


NON INJURY REFERENCE:

RD 7 RB Hit Rate (9.26%)

RD 7 WR Hit Rate (4.92%)


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6th Round


- 5 ACL Tears

- 1 Rookie

- WR145 season after, 0pts season after

- 4 Never played a snap again 4/5 (80%)

- 3 of the 4 had played the season prior to injury (75%)

- 0 of these “hit” (WR2/RB2 or >) in a season after ACL injury (0%)

- 0 players showed improvement from pre-ACL season to post ACL season (all non-rookies included): 0%


NON INJURY REFERENCE:

RD 6 RB Hit Rate (10.42%)

RD 6 WR Hit Rate (4%)


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5th Round


- 4 ACL Tears

- 1 Rookie

- Never close to relevant

- 2/4 Never played a snap again 2/4 (50%)

- both had played in the season prior to injury (100%)

- 0 of these “hit” (WR2/RB2 or >) in a season after ACL injury (0%)

- 0 players showed improvement from pre-ACL season to post ACL season (all non-rookies included): 0/3 = 0%

- Player of Note:

- Jay Ajayi (25) – RB36 season prior to tear

- Played 3 more games in the NFL ever (10 rush 30 yards)


NON INJURY REFERENCE:

RD 5 RB Hit Rate (10.42%)

RD 5 WR Hit Rate (6%)


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4th Round


- 8 ACL Tears

- 0 Rookies

- 3 Never played another snap again (37.5%)

- All 3 had played in the season prior to injury (100%)

- 0 of these “hit” (WR2/RB2 or >) in a season after ACL injury (0%)

- 1 showed improvement from pre-ACL season to post ACL season (all non-rookies included): 1/8 = 12.5%

- Players of Note

- Darren Sproles – 2017 tears (6 games in 2018, 6 2019): Never close to fantasy relevant again, retired after 2019

- Lamar Miller – appeared in one game since ACL tear (2 fantasy points)

- Cecil Shorts – Never played another snap post ACL tear

- WR22 in 2012

- Travis Benjamin – One WR3 season (2 years post ACL)


NON INJURY REFERENCE:

RD 4 RB Hit Rate (20%)

RD 4 WR Hit Rate (9.52%)


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3rd Round


- 7 ACL Tears

- 0 Rookies

- 1 Never played another snap 1/7 (14%)

- 2 players “hit” (WR2/RB2 or >) in a season after ACL injury 2/7 (29%)

- 2 players showed improvement from pre-ACL season to post ACL season (all non-rookies included): 2/7 = 40% (Cooper Kupp, Keenan Allen)

- Players of note

- Jamaal Charles 5/7 seasons over 1K – 3 seasons after never reached 1K

- Jerick McKinnon: avg 500+ yards prior to ACL, missed 2 seasons, and had