Detroit Lions: Ziggy Ansah lands on injury report with a knee injury
Detroit Lions’ top pass rusher, defensive end Ziggy Ansah, lands on the team’s injury report as he’s dealing with an apparent knee injury.
One of the biggest areas of concern for the Detroit Lions coming into the 2017 NFL regular season is where their pass rush is going to come from. Especially considering the fact that last year’s sack leader, defensive end Kerry Hyder Jr., was lost for the year after suffering an Achilles injury in the team’s preseason opener.
The bulk of the Lions’ hope for a effective and consistent pass rush this year seems to lay squarely on the shoulders of Ziggy Ansah. But the fifth-year defensive end is coming off his worst season as a professional.
Ansah recorded 35 total tackles and 2.0 sacks in 13 games for the Lions in 2016. But the former first round selection out of Brigham Young was also dealing with both ankle and shoulder injuries. Detroit hoped that Ansah could return healthy this season, and regain the form that saw him post a career-high 14.5 sacks in 2015, as well as his first Pro Bowl invitation.
But eyebrows were raised when Ansah landed on the active/PUP list in July despite participating in OTA’s. It was first thought the Lions were being cautious with the veteran defender or that he may still be dealing with a high-ankle sprain injury. Ziggy ended up missing all of training camp and the entire preseason.
And now, we might actually know why. Ansah landed on Detroit’s first injury report Wednesday. In it, the pass rusher was listed as being limited at practice due to a knee injury. The severity of which is unknown, but is presumably why Ansah has been sidelined so long. He was activated off the PUP just last week and has practiced twice since.
Although the Lions seem confident Ansah will play this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, there is certainly cause for concern on at least two fronts. For one, how healthy is Ansah? And two, how effective can he be?
Lions’ head coach Jim Caldwell confessed that the team really doesn’t know how much Ansah will be able to contribute against the Cardinals this weekend.
"“Obviously, there’s certainly a possibility (that Ansah’s snaps are limited), there’s no question about it,” Caldwell told the Detroit Free Press. “…Right now, to say it’s a possibility, sure it is. But have we determined that as of yet? No, we have not. We’re waiting to see where he is at the end of the week.”"
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If the Detroit Lions are going to make another trip to the postseason, they’ll likely need Ziggy Ansah to help get them there. And the fact the young pass rusher’s health status is up in the air and shrouded in mystery does not bode well for the start of the Lions’ regular season.