By: Will Burchfield
Though the Lions have remained typically mum regarding Ziggy Ansah’s injury, a report surfaced yesterday that the Pro Bowl defensive end has a high left ankle sprain.
Ansah sustained the injury on the third play from scrimmage in the Lions’ 16-15 loss to the Titans on Sunday. He hobbled to the sideline where he underwent a brief examination by the training staff before limping to the locker room. He was officially ruled out late in the third quarter.
Ansah was one of several Lions to go down on Sunday, joining running back Ameer Abdullah (foot) and linebackers Kyle Van Noy (calf) and Antwione Williams (thigh). Linebacker DeAndre Levy (quad) was scratched before kick-off.
Jim Caldwell declined to discuss the injuries in Monday’s press conference, sticking to rigid team policy.
But if Rapoport’s report is correct – and it was confirmed by other sources – Ansah stands to miss time. High ankle sprains can take several weeks to heal, although the severity of Ansah’s sprain remains unclear.
For what it’s worth, the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson played through a high ankle sprain on Sunday. He appeared hindered in his team’s 9-3 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
Losing Ansah for any amount of time would be a serious detriment to the Lions’ defense. He is Detroit’s most feared pass-rusher, having racked up 14.5 sacks in 2015, and looked primed for another big season. Without him, the Lions would be down to Devin Taylor, Kerry Hyder, Wallace Gilberry and Brandon Copeland at defensive end.
Jim Caldwell commended both Taylor (1.5 sacks) and Hyder (1 sack) for stepping up on Sunday after Ansah went down.
“Kerry Hyder does what he usually does. He fights and scratches and digs and made some plays for us. Devin also played well, played tough, showed up. That’s the way it’s supposed to be,” Caldwell said.
The Lions have a pair of key divisional matchups coming up, visiting the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 and the Chicago Bears in Week 4. It remains to be seen if Ansah will suit up for either game.