If he had a choice, Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow would surely be resting all the injuries he had this season before playing in Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11. But the NFC Championship game loss to the San Francisco 49ers has brought the offseason, and time for him to get a broader assessment of those injuries heading toward next season.
A toe issue has been a thing for Ragnow since early in the 2021 season, when he eventually had season-ending surgery. He aggravated the issue in the 2022 season opener, missing one game, and while he sort of walked back using the word "inoperable" it's clearly something he'll deal with for the rest of his career.
Ragnow added calf, back and knee ailments to his injury docket this season, missing two regular season games. In the Divisional Round playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he suffered a sprained left knee and ankle when his leg got rolled up on.
Ragnow's listing on the Lions' injury report eventually bordered on being comical, but it also stood as a written testament to his toughness. Not that the toughness of someone who once finished a game with a fractured throat should ever be questioned.
Ragnow makes "frank" assessment of his injuries
On Monday, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Ragnow talked candidly about the toll his injuries took on him.
"I got to figure everything out," Ragnow said. "We landed at 5 a.m. (after the 49ers game) and now I’m just trying to process everything and take a look at my body and my MRIs and figure everything out."
"It takes a toll on you,” Ragnow said. “It really takes a toll on you, so I need to find a way to get back to Frank and I don’t regret any of this at all, but it weighs on you and I’m just going to take some time and really figure everything out to make sure that I’m feeling good, not only for me the football player but for me to be the best husband and best father and everything with that as well.”
The comments about taking time to "figure everything out" and being the best husband and father he can be could be taken as Ragnow hinting at retirement. But he is one of the best centers in the NFL, if not the best, even playing through all the stuff he did this season. So there should be no fear he'll retire this offseason, and Ragnow surely didn't mean to even faintly suggest he's considering it when talking about all the injuries he dealt with.