This one is my theory on "Why rushes matter and receptions do not" in measuring running back workload and future injury risk.
I often see people complain that measuring workload by excluding receptions is inappropriate. I think this is up for debate, because it is not an apples to apples comparison. Rush attempts are far more likely to result in tackles (rather than runs out of bounds), tackles involving multiple tacklers, and tackles involving really big defenders.
But setting that aside, I think there is a far more significant reason why rush attempts matter, and receptions do not, when measuring workload. Take a look at these real games turned in by NFL running backs.
Running Back A: 29 rush attempts, 102 rushing yards, 0 receptions, 0 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Running Back B: 23 rush attempts, 117 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 52 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns
Now picture those games in your head, based only on the running back statistics. What type of backs are they? And more importantly, how did the game proceed?
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