Projecting “Questionable” Players in the Post-Probable Era

In my last post I began looking at the effects of removing “Probable” from the game status portion of the NFL Injury Report this year. This left only three categories for players to fall into: “Questionable,” “Doubtful,” and “Out”.

“Out,” like it always did, means the player is certain to not play. Per our data, “Doubtful” continues to mean essentially the same thing.

“Questionable” is where things get interesting. According to my analysis, about 1/3 of players who would have previously been marked “Probable” in earlier years are now marked “Questionable,” while the other 2/3 simply aren’t listed (i.e. they’re considered “not injured”). This has altered what “Questionable” means in terms of how likely a player is to suit up on game day – in previous years 60-65% played in the next game, but so far in 2016 it’s 73%!

That means the “Questionable” players – already a hard-to-predict group – got even more heterogeneous. But can we look a little deeper and try and identify those more or less likely to suit up for their next game? I’m going to stratify by teaminjury type, and practice status to try and find out!

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The Effects of Eliminating “Probable” from the NFL Injury Report

Less than a month before the season began, the NFL announced a few substantial changes to how it handled injuries. The biggest one – at least from a fan(tasy football) perspective – was a modification to the game status report component of the NFL injury report: eliminating the “Probable” designation for how likely players are to play in their upcoming game.1

I wasn’t sure how this change would affect NFL injury reports, so I’ve been eagerly waiting to amass enough data to examine this rule change. Now that we’ve got a half season let’s take a look at the data!

Continue reading “The Effects of Eliminating “Probable” from the NFL Injury Report”