National Football League
NFL Week 16: Buccaneers tumble in health rankings
National Football League

NFL Week 16: Buccaneers tumble in health rankings

Updated Dec. 26, 2021 5:27 p.m. ET

By Dr. Matt Provencher
FOX Sports Injury & Performance Analyst

Until this week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the healthiest teams of the NFL season. 

They have truly been healthy for the most part, which is a credit to the team's coaching and medical staff for keeping players healthy, managing load on their bodies and keeping them on an injury prevention and wellness track.

Who is the healthiest team in the NFL?

Dr. Matt Provencher looks at the healthiest team in the NFL according to the "BUS," or "Banged Up Score." He also discusses the issues the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going through at this point in the season.

However, as we all saw in Week 15, Tampa Bay lost three key players to notable injuries — running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring, along with a previous ankle injury that he was recovering from) and receivers Mike Evans (hamstring) and Chris Godwin (ACL).

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In a sudden turn, the Bucs went from being one of the healthiest teams in the league to one that ranked in the middle of the pack in health, and all you have to do is look at the numbers in our "BUS," or "Banged Up Score," rankings to see the truth of it.

For more analysis of the NFL from Dr. Matt, follow him on Twitter or go to FantasyPredictors.com.

The Bucs were rated at 92.1 heading into Week 15, but that number plummeted by 24 points, all the way down to 68.3, for Week 16. That was one of the largest drops in BUS all season.

Bucs fans should know, however, that Tampa Bay is still not close to the lowest in the league, as the 49ers, Jets, Giants and Ravens have the lowest BUS scores heading into Week 16.

Update on Buccaneers' health as postseason approaches

Dr. Matt Provencher provides an update on the overall health of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following the lose of Leonard Fournette, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

The Packers, who have the best record in the NFL at 12-3, rank just below Tampa Bay with a BUS of 67.1.

As the Bucs work through Week 18, they will have to monitor load, as well as medically manage the hamstring injuries to Evans and Fournette, if they want a chance to return to the Super Bowl.

In fact, our BUS scores heading into last season's championship game between Tampa Bay and Kansas City showed that the Buccaneers were nearly 10 points healthier than the Chiefs at the time, which proved to be a solid indicator of how the game would play out.

We will continue to watch the health of the Bucs — as well as the rest of the NFL — as we march toward the playoffs.

Renowned orthopedist Dr. Matt Provencher and his company, Proven Performance Technology (PPT), deliver data-driven injury insights to football fans. In this first-of-a-kind role as Athlete Injury and Performance Analyst for FOX Sports’ digital platforms, Provencher provides important predictive player health and recovery information about post-injury performance, the impact of weather, field conditions and more.

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