While we were all eagerly awaiting news on Matthew Stafford’s hand injury, the Detroit Lions suffered what appeared to be a much more serious injury to their offensive line. Right tackle Rick Wagner left the game with a leg injury in the first half and did not return. Wagner was carted off the field, which is never a good sign.
However, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, there’s some good news:
#Lions RT Rick Wagner suffered a sprained ankle & a back injury yesterday. Good news is ankle X-Rays were negative, source says. MRI coming— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 4, 2017
While Wagner’s injury could still be very serious, and his availability for the rest of the year is very much in question, the fact that he did not suffer a fracture should come as a big relief.
Wagner has had a tough first year in Detroit. He has had to battle through multiple ankle injuries, a shoulder issue and now back problems. Despite that, he has started every game this season and played in 93 percent of all offensive snaps this year.
The Lions invested $47.5 million in Wagner over five seasons, so the long-term health of their right tackle is immensely important. If the MRI comes up clear, the Lions will have avoided a major roadblock in their attempts to finally fix their offensive line and get their running game going.