As the games missed continues to mount up for Detroit Lions star defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, some are beginning questioning Ansah’s commitment to the game. In the offseason, the Lions handed Ansah the franchise tag, worth over $17 million. Since then, Ansah missed much of training camp and has only played in a single half in five games due to a shoulder injury.
On Monday, head coach Matt Patricia was asked if the Lions’ decision to franchise tag Ansah has played any factor in why Ansah hasn’t returned to the field yet. Patricia, very sternly, shut down any suggestions that money was part of the equation in Ansah’s recovery.
“Next question. Let’s talk about something real important here,” Patricia said. But when pushed, he elaborated.
“The guy’s trying every single day to get back out there. So, that’s what it is. Don’t make it anything more than that. That guy’s a competitive guy (who) wants to play football. He’s trying to do the best he can to help this team.”
You can watch the press conference here. It’s the very first question and you can see Patricia is not happy with the insinuation here. It’s clear Patricia believes Ansah is doing everything he can to be out there right now.
- In good injury news, it certainly sounds like Lions coaches expect T.J. Lang to return sometime this year. In fact, Lang reportedly helped out with game-planning for the Packers last week, indicating that since he took place in some team meetings it indicates that he has passed the very first level of the concussion protocol.
- Kerryon Johnson is currently the third highest graded rookie running back, according to Pro Football Focus:
Saquon Barkley is the highest graded rookie running back in the NFL so far this season. pic.twitter.com/RXgB5OKnEf— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 9, 2018
- The Athletic’s Josh Cohen (subscription required) has another excellent film breakdown of the good and bad things from the Lions’ victory over the Packers.
- If you’re the kind of person that has already moved onto the draft, the Lions have moved to 13th in the draft order (and subsequently, the waiver wire priority order):
Current Order in the 2019 NFL Draft— Charlie Campbell (@DraftCampbell) October 9, 2018
- The Lions’ Sights and Sounds segment may have gotten rid of most of the on-field audio, but it’s still worth a watch for all of Dan Miller’s radio calls for Week 5’s biggest plays against the Packers.
- A few Lions players congratulated Drew Brees on becoming the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards:
Congrats @drewbrees !!!!! #ThatBoiGood pic.twitter.com/d3yCNpTpTw— Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate) October 9, 2018
Drew the legend ✊— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) October 9, 2018
Congrats Drew!— DK (@DevonKennard) October 9, 2018
That’s a pretty remarkable moment to watch. Football can be pretty damn special.— Taylor Decker (@__taylordecker) October 9, 2018