The Lions’ best pass rusher, defensive end Ziggy Ansah, suffered a high ankle sprain in the team’s 16-15 loss to the Titans on Sunday and will miss an undetermined amount of time, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Detroit played nearly all of Week 2 without Ansah, who limped off the field after three snaps and didn’t return.
Ansah, whom the Lions chose fifth overall in the 2013 draft, has developed into a prolific sack artist in the NFL. After taking down opposing quarterbacks 15.5 times and forcing five fumbles during his first two seasons, he tallied 14.5 and four in those two categories last year. He hasn’t made much of a dent on the stat sheet this season in limited playing time for the 1-1 Lions, whose defense currently ranks 22nd in the league in scoring and 25th in yardage (though it is tied for seventh in sacks).
Up next for the Lions are the NFC North rival Packers, but Ansah won’t be on the field against the Aaron Rodgers-led club. The same might be true for another of the Lions’ integral defenders, linebacker DeAndre Levy, who didn’t practice last week and missed the Titans game. When asked Monday if Levy’s quad injury could end his season, head coach Jim Caldwell didn’t give the most reassuring response.
“We’ll see. You know we don’t talk about injuries,” said Caldwell (via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com).
Levy was one of the Lions’ top players from 2009-14, but he missed all but one game a season ago on account of a hip injury. A knee issue then caused Levy to sit out training camp over the summer, though he did recover in time to take the field Week 1. Levy’s inability to stay healthy since last year isn’t what he or the Lions envisioned when the two agreed to a four-year, $33MM contract extension in August 2015. Without Levy on Sunday, Detroit turned to fifth-round rookie Antwione Williams on the weak side. Williams picked up four tackles.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.