If you are an avid NFL fan you may have noticed the statistic “all purpose yards” referring to your running back or wide receivers. This is not the most common of statistics but one worth knowing if you are looking to learn more about the game of football.
All-purpose yards in the NFL refer to the total amount of rushing, receiving, and kick/punt return yards. Essentially this statistic collects the total number of yards any offensive player gains throughout the game.
Though it is important to remember that all purpose yards does not include passing yardage.
What Positions Get The Most All Purpose Yards
The position which tends to get the most all purpose yards in a given season is the runnning back. That being said it is heavily dependent on the type of running back you are.
For example, if you are a power back that thrives in short-yardage situations but doesn’t catch many passes you likely aren’t going to be getting many all-purpose yards.
But if you are a gadget guy you are going to be receiving passes as well as getting carries this results in a lot of all-purpose yards. This is because both of these stats fall underneath all-purpose yards statistic.
Playing special teams is another major factor in the total of all-purpose yards you are going to accumulate. If you are able to lock down the punt return or kick return job you are going to get a large boost in this category.
It is this special teams playing time that can allow wide receivers to take the all purpose yards lead. If neither player plays special teams is slightly more likely the running back will have more all purpose yards. But if one of these players is a return specialist and the other isn’t then all bets are off.
Last year alone Corrdarell Patterson amassed over 1000 yards on kick returns alone. This goes to show how many yards can be accumulated by playing special teams.
Who has the most all-purpose yards in the NFL?
The player with most all purpose yards in NFL history is Jerry Rice. Over his career he was able to amass a total of 23,546 yards.
This is really an amazing feat by a wide receiver because the next five players on the list are all runningbacks. In fact, Rice has the most all purpose yards as a receiver by more than 3,864 yards.
Rice was able to achieve this award through incredible consistency throughout his career. Despite not being a kick or punt returner he was able to achieve this record using almost only receiving yards.
What is the NFL record in a season?
The NFL record for most all-purpose yards in a single season belongs to Darren Sproles. Sproles earned this award by collecting a total of 2,696 while playing for the New Orleans Saints in 2011.
Sproles was able to earn the record by being a jack of all trades. Sproles gained a total of 1089 yards on the kick return while gaining 710 receiving and 603 rushing.
As you can see this is not your typical running back season as his rushing yards ranked third in terms of all purpose yards statistics.
He also picked up another few hundred yards on punt return. This total gave him enough to beat the record previously held by Derrick Mason by only nine yards.
That is all on purpose yards in football if you want to learn more about these sorts of statistics see our guide to rushing yards or receiving yards.