Expect Elliott to continue at his established productivity levels. Despite a 2015 hand surgery and heavy workload over the past few years, data gives us confidence that his overall injury risk is low for his position. Still, 1/2 of even the most durable high-volume RBs will miss at least one game, so be prepared for the possibility that he won’t be available every week.
2016 - Hamstring strain (missed pre-season games only)
2015 - hand fracture (likely scaphoid bone), treated with surgery (Feb)
2019 - 16/16
2018 - 15/16
2017 - 10/16 (suspension)
2016 - 15/16
Data from 63 high-volume NFL RBs reported decreases in their number of rush attempts and yards per carry following 300-carry years. Elliott ran the ball over 300 times in 3 of his 4 NFL seasons, and looking closely at his stats tells us that he has actually followed this trend so far. However, his decline each time has been minimal and he is 2 years younger than the average RB in the study, so we don’t anticipate significant changes in his productivity yet.
Elliott’s only major injury involved a 2015 hand fracture (likely involving the scaphoid bone based on limited reports) treated with surgery. A small study in NFL players suggests that the injury shouldn’t affect his future game participation. Additionally, while Elliott has carried a heavy workload each year since entering the league, 2 studies indicate that this does not increase his injury risk going forward either. Overall, low concern relative to other RBs, but keep in mind that even the most durable high-volume RBs miss 1.9 games/year.
Image Source: Keith Allison, CC-BY-SA-2.0