The Detroit Lions finally had their five offensive line starters together to start Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, as Jonah Jackson returned to the lineup. But Frank Ragnow left the game with a knee injury during the first half, and while head coach Dan Campbell was not completely dire in his postgame update it was easy to think the Pro Bowl center could miss some time.
Linebacker Alex Anzalone missed Sunday's game with a hand injury. Early indications from Campbell (vague as a coach will always be) opened the door for him to possibly miss multiple games.
Thirdly on the notable injury front for the Lions, defensive tackle Alim McNeill suffered what looked to be a right leg or knee injury after bumping into Aidan Hutchinson during Sunday's game. He left the game a couple times, but he did manage to finish the game.
The day after the game was promised to reveal more about Ragnow's status, once he had an MRI done. It's fair to say McNeill was feeling his injury on Monday morning.
Detroit Lions injury updates: Frank Ragnow, Alex Anzalone and Alim McNeill
Via Pride of Detroit, here's what Campbell said about the aforementioned trio on Monday afternoon.
"I feel like more than anything, we got good news,” Campbell said. “But that doesn’t mean that he’s going to be available this week.”
It seems Ragnow avoided a major injury, but it seems likely he'll miss next Sunday's game against the Bears. Graham Glasgow moved over from right guard to center on Sunday, as he as done before this season, and Campbell lauded his presence on Monday.
“That’s exactly why we got him (Glasgow),” Campbell said. “You don’t want it for this moment, but it also is for this moment. Even to be able to make the move yesterday—he’s banging away at right guard—and then at the drop of the hat he has to go play center, and really played well at center yesterday. Man, it’s valuable to be able to have him here...
“I think there’s a chance (he plays, Sunday against the Bears). Yeah. I do,” Campbell said.
Anzalone is having the best season of his career, and his overall presence was certainly missed against the Saints. But Jack Campbell, Derrick Barnes and Jalen Reeves-Maybin really stepped up to fill in, with Campbell and Reeves-Maybin grading out (via Pro Football Focus) as two of the Lions' best defenders in the game. The Lions seem to have a good problem trying to find snaps for all their capable linebackers if Anzalone is back this week.
"Mac’s a little banged up,” Campbell said. “We’ll know more on him probably in I would say a couple of days. So, there’s a chance he may not be up (this week) either.”
McNeill is having a third-year breakout, with five sacks and a top-six overall PFF grade among all interior defensive lineman with equally high marks as a pass rusher and run defender. He also plays a ton-69 percent of the Lions' defensive snaps through 12 games this season.
If McNeill can't go against the Bears on Sunday, or beyond, it will be a massive drop-off to Isaiah Buggs and/or Levi Onwuzurike, who have both been healthy scratches for games on a regular basis.