What is more important, the Detroit Lions winning their first game or maintaining the long-term health of their best pass rusher?
Getting pressure on the opponent’s quarterback can sometimes be one of the determining factors in winning the game. For the Detroit Lions, having Ziggy Ansah on the field could swing the chances of victory in their favor.
The Lions placed Ansah on the physically-unable-to-perform list and missed all of training camp. This was thought to be just a precautionary move because of a lingering ankle injury that hampered him all of 2016. Turns out it was a knee injury.
Since being reactivated off the PUP list, the 2015 pro bowler has only practiced in a limited capacity. There is no telling the severity of the injury considering how in-the-dark Detroit is regarding the health or timetable of return of its players. What happened to DeAndre Levy is proof of some of this shady activity the Lions have been caught up in.
If this organization wants to do the right thing, they need to rest their star pass rusher. I would rather see the Lions lose the first game, even lose the first quarter of the season than to see Ziggy physically hampered or be lost to a long/short-term injury.
I understand the season would most likely be lost if Detroit started off 0-4. To me, the overall health and longevity of Ziggy’s career is more important. 4-0 through the first four games means nothing if it limits the fifth-year veterans long-term availability.
Pass rushers are very hard to come by in the NFL. The Lions better wise up and be cautious with their best pass rusher.
I would hate to see him leave the Motor City, which could happen if he doesn’t get a contract extension soon. What I would hate to see even more is a phenomenal player get hurt when it could have been prevented.
It’s quite possible that Ansah is okay and is being brought along slowly. Contrarily, my gut tells me that he isn’t ready and should take more time to get healthy.
If you thought the Lions’ pass rush was in trouble now, imagine what it would look like without him at all. Depending on how this situation is handled, they could potentially put their pass rush in a much worse position in 2018.