Christian McCaffrey and Travis Etienne both have over 150 combined runs and receptions. Is that an indication that both are prime candidates to break down? Or is it evidence of how durable and great they are?

I decided to run some numbers on this, looking at what’s happened to other running backs who’ve been in similar positions in the past. By looking at those backs, it should give us a better idea of what to expect from McCaffrey and Etienne.

In the last 10 years, there have been 41 other running backs who’ve handled the ball at least 150 times in their team’s first seven games. They’re listed in descending order below, with the three backs with over 200 touches (Derrick Henry, DeMarco Murray, LeVeon Bell) listed at the top.

Of those 41 backs, 12 missed at least two starts in the remaining weeks of the season. (That includes not only injuries but players perhaps choosing to sit out the final game, resting for the playoffs.) And seven missed at least three games.

Those numbers aren’t quite as large as I expected. In percentage terms, 29 percent missed at least two games, and 17 percent missed at least three. Those represent the ballpark odds of maybe getting some kind of hit by stashing away Tank Bigsby or some combination of Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason.

In the chart below, guys missing at least two games are tagged with black dots.

2021• Derrick Henry, Ten.209993715410
2014DeMarco Murray, Dall.20801,84541613
2017LeVeon Bell, Pitt.20211,29165511
2017• Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.18369832699
2022Derrick Henry, Ten.18011,53839813
2019Christian McCaffrey, Car.18001,3871,00519
2017LeSean McCoy, Buff.17501,1384488
2016Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.17411,63136316
2016David Johnson, Ariz.17401,23987920
2019Leonard Fournette, Jac.17211,1525223
2017Todd Gurley, LAR17211,30578819
2013Jamaal Charles, K.C.17111,28769319
2020Derrick Henry, Ten.17102,02711417
2018• Todd Gurley, LAR16921,25158021
2022Saquon Barkley, NYG16811,31233810
2016DeMarco Murray, Ten.16601,28737712
2020Josh Jacobs, L.V.16511,06523812
2015Devonta Freeman, Atl.16511,05657814
2021Najee Harris, Pitt.16501,20046710
2014Matt Forte, Chi.16301,03880810
2013LeSean McCoy, Phil.16201,60753911
2021• Alvin Kamara, N.O.16148984399
2015• Matt Forte, Chi.16138983897
2019Chris Carson, Sea.16111,2302669
2019Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.15901,35742014
2018• James Conner, Pitt.158397349713
2016• Melvin Gordon, S.D.158399741912
2019• Dalvin Cook, Min.15721,13551913
2018Ezekiel Elliott, Dall.15711,4345679
2014• Andre Ellington, Ariz.15646603955
2016• Lamar Miller, Hou.15621,0731886
2019Nick Chubb, Cle.15501,4942788
2016Todd Gurley, LAR15508853276
2015Adrian Peterson, Min.15501,48522211
2014LeSean McCoy, Phil.15401,3191555
2014LeVeon Bell, Pitt.15301,36185411
2017• Jay Ajayi, Mia.-Phi.15228731582
2013Marshawn Lynch, Sea.15201,25731614
2013Matt Forte, Chi.15101,33959412
2023Christian McCaffrey, S.F.151????
2023Travis Etienne, Jac.151????
2016• Matt Forte, NYJ15028132638
2017Jordan Howard, Chi.15001,1221259

When I looking into this, I also pulled up the numbers for the other 11 seasons in the 32-team era. I left them out to avoid making the chart ridiculously large, but since we have the benefit of unlimited space, I’ll toss them on below for those who want to pick through them. The basic conclusion is the about the same. In this group, 27 percent of the backs in this 11-year period missed at least two games, and 19 percent missed at least three games.

Note, by the way, that there were over twice as many heavily used backs in the 2002-11 time period – further evidence of more teams moving to a committee approach at running back. There have been 43 such backs in the last 11 seasons, but 93 of those runners in the first 12 years of the 32-team era.

2002• Priest Holmes, K.C.21221,61567224
2002LaDainian Tomlinson, S.D.20801,68348915
2003Ricky Williams, Mia.20501,37235110
2006Larry Johnson, K.C.19901,78941019
2004Curtis Martin, NYJ19601,69724514
2004• Priest Holmes, K.C.195889218715
2004Clinton Portis, Was.19311,3152357
2002• Edgerrin James, Ind.19129893543
2010Adrian Peterson, Min.18711,29834113
2006Edgerrin James, Ariz.18501,1592176
2006LaDainian Tomlinson, S.D.18501,81550831
2006Tiki Barber, NYG18401,6624655
2003LaDainian Tomlinson, S.D.18301,64572517
2005Edgerrin James, Ind.18211,50633714
2002Fred Taylor, Jac.18201,3144088
2003Ahman Green, G.B.18101,88336720
2003Priest Holmes, K.C.18101,42069027
2012Arian Foster, Hou.18001,42421717
2010Chris Johnson, Ten.18001,36424512
2002Ricky Williams, Mia.18001,85336317
2002Deuce McAllister, N.O.17911,38835216
2006Steven Jackson, St.L.17901,52880616
2003Jamal Lewis, Balt.17802,06620514
2003Tiki Barber, NYG17801,2164613
2002Jamal Lewis, Balt.17801,3274427
2007Willie Parker, Pitt.17611,3161642
2008Matt Forte, Chi.17601,23847712
2009• Cedric Benson, Cin.17431,2511116
2004Edgerrin James, Ind.17401,5484839
2002• Marshall Faulk, St.L.173295353710
2008Clinton Portis, Was.17301,4872189
2010• Frank Gore, S.F.17258534525
2005Thomas Jones, Chi.17211,3351439
2005LaDainian Tomlinson, S.D.17201,46237020
2003• Stephen Davis, Car.17121,4441598
2006Chester Taylor, Min.17111,2162886
2005• LaMont Jordan, Oak.17021,02556311
2007Willis McGahee, Balt.17011,2072318
2004Tiki Barber, NYG16901,51857815
2003Deuce McAllister, N.O.16901,6415168
2005Willis McGahee, Buff.16801,2471785
2007• Larry Johnson, K.C.16685591864
2002Ahman Green, G.B.16611,2403939
2004LaDainian Tomlinson, S.D.16511,33544118
2010Steven Jackson, St.L.16501,2413836
2007LaDainian Tomlinson, S.D.16501,47447518
2005• Domanick Williams, Hou.16459763376
2006• Willis McGahee, Buff.16429901566
2009Steven Jackson, St.L.16411,4163224
2008Adrian Peterson, Min.16301,76012510
2002• Anthony Thomas, Chi.16247211636
2011• Matt Forte, Chi.16249974904
2007Edgerrin James, Ariz.16201,2222047
2002Corey Dillon, Cin.16201,3112987
2012• Darren McFadden, Oak.16147072583
2006Willie Parker, Pitt.16101,49422216
2002• Lamar Smith, Car.16057371677
2011• Fred Jackson, Buff.15969344426
2007• Marshawn Lynch, Buff.15931,1151847
2011Maurice Jones-Drew, Jac.15901,60637411
2005Shaun Alexander, Sea.15901,8807828
2004Shaun Alexander, Sea.15901,69617020
2007• Ronnie Brown, Mia.15896023895
2011LeSean McCoy, Phil.15811,30931520
2012Adrian Peterson, Min.15802,09721713
2010Arian Foster, Hou.15801,61660418
2003Shaun Alexander, Sea.15801,43529516
2011• Adrian Peterson, Min.157497013913
2012Marshawn Lynch, Sea.15701,59019612
2010Rashard Mendenhall, Pitt.15701,27316713
2006Thomas Jones, Chi.15701,2101546
2002Shaun Alexander, Sea.15701,17546018
2009Adrian Peterson, Min.15601,38343618
2003Fred Taylor, Jac.15601,5723707
2004• Duce Staley, Pitt.1556830551
2012• LeSean McCoy, Phil.15548403735
2010Ray Rice, Balt.15501,2205566
2002Travis Henry, Buff.15501,43830914
2008Marion Barber, Dall.15418854179
2004Ahman Green, G.B.15411,1632758
2002Eddie George, Ten.15401,16525514
2006Rudi Johnson, Cin.15301,30912412
2004Rudi Johnson, Cin.15301,4548412
2003• William Green, Cle.1529559501
2005• Curtis Martin, NYJ15247351185
2010• Maurice Jones-Drew, Jac.15221,3243177
2011Frank Gore, S.F.15201,2111148
2010Cedric Benson, Cin.15201,1111788
2006• Tatum Bell, Den.15031,0251152
2010Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG15001,2353148
2006Frank Gore, S.F.15001,6954859
2005Rudi Johnson, Cin.15001,4589012
2002Tiki Barber, NYG15001,38759711

—Ian Allan