By the time this season ended, the list of injuries for Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow was lengthy and almost befitting the rhythm of a children's song if put in the right order-knee, ankle, back, toe...
"It takes a toll on you,” Ragnow said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “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 quick reaction to those comments became to wonder if Ragnow will seriously consider retirement this offseason. He will turn 28 in May, so it feels unlikely. But he wouldn't be the first player to retire early and at the top of his game because of the physical toll football takes on the body.
And Ragnow has absorbed a harsh toll on his body over the last few seasons, playing through an inoperable toe injury while dealing with all the injuries he played through this year. Toughness is not a big enough word, or the only word, to describe it.
Lions will give Frank Ragnow all the time he needs to ponder his future
"I have so much respect for him and everything he goes through, and fights through,” general manager Brad Holmes said on Monday. “I’m just respectful of his time and his thoughts. We’re not going to pressure him to do anything, but the communication will be diligent, it will be thorough, it will be respectful. But just that’s what our team is.”
I'll echo Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports with the thought that Ragnow will retire earlier than many players do, perhaps after only a few more seasons-in his early 30's. But the odds he retires this offseason are incredibly slim.
So the Lions, as expected, will give Ragnow whatever time and space he needs this offseason to rest, rehab and ponder his future. But expect the literal center of one of the best offensive lines in the league to be refreshed and back in his spot next season.