Ezekiel Ansah has been on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list since the beginning of camp. There have been no indications of what the injury is, nor how close he is to returning. As time goes on and no updates have been given, Detroit Lions fans have understandably gotten more anxious about Ansah’s availability.
However, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin doesn’t seem too worried. During a press conference on Tuesday morning, Austin was asked if he was worried about Ansah’s injury and the time he’s currently missing in training camp. “No,” Austin said bluntly. “He’s been here and he’s played thousands and thousands of snaps for us. I don’t worry about that.”
When asked more specifically about the injury lingering into the regular season, Austin again said he wasn’t worried. “No, the doctors handle that,” Austin said. “The reports we get, I guess, are going to be good, and nothing out of the ordinary. Just letting it heal, take our time and when we get him back, we get him back.”
Last year, Ansah suffered a high ankle sprain early in the year that caused him to miss three games. Those kind of injuries tend to linger, which could be why Ansah had one of the least productive seasons of his career in 2016. It could also be the reason why the Lions are taking things slow and steady with the Pro Bowl pass rusher.
Whether this is the same injury that caused him to miss time last year remains to be seen. The Lions have yet to comment on what the specific ailment is, but for now, it appears the Lions are just taking the precautionary route.
UPDATE: Jim Caldwell also gave some signs of optimism during his Tuesday presser: