It was a mild surprise when the Detroit Lions brought back Zach Zenner this week. The Lions running back was placed on injured reserve after suffering a back injury in the preseason finale. A couple weeks into the season, the Lions waived him from IR, seemingly ending the Zenner era in Detroit.
However, enough time has passed since his injury settlement that he was allowed to return to the Lions, and Zenner told the media on Wednesday about his time away from the team.
He also finally provided some context to his preseason back injury.
“It was pretty bad. I had two fractures,” Zenner said. “They’re not load-bearing bones, so certain movements it would grab me, but it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. If you’re going to break your back, that’s what you want to do.”
In his rookie year, Zenner suffered an even more terrifying injury. He broke his ribs and punctured a lung in an injury he calls “way worse” than the broken back.
But the injuries didn’t deter Zenner from a comeback. While he continued to prepare for his career as a doctor—he was studying for the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) prior to his return to the Lions—he also spent a good portion of his time getting back into football shape when his body was ready:
View this post on Instagram
NFL running back Zach Zenner before n after. Zach went from 12.6 percent body fat to 8.0 and gained 14 pounds of muscle in 7 weeks training at MECA. Zach has been training 2x a day and came in because of a back injury he sustained in the preseason. He is fully healthy and cleared to play!!! #strengthsensei #poliquin #mecastrong #meca #novipersonaltraining #detroitlions #lions #runningback #bodycomp #rehab #strengthsensei1 #gainzunit
“I was preparing for either outcome. Preparing to move on and go to school and do some other fun stuff, and also preparing to come back and play for someone,” Zenner said.
- When you throw to Kenny Golladay, good things happen:
Pass-Catchers with Highest % of Plays with Positive Expected Points Value— Sports Info Solutions (@SportsInfo_SIS) November 8, 2018
We call it "Positive Play Percentage"
Michael Thomas 81%
Tyler Boyd 66%
Kenny Golladay 66%
Jared Cook 66%
DeAndre Hopkins 64%
Will Fuller 64%
Sammy Watkins 64% pic.twitter.com/4JQxFeVTue
- MLive’s Nate Atkins listed five surprises and eight busts from the first half of the Lions’ 2018 season.
- Detroit Lions legend Wally Triplett, who was the first African-American player chosen in the NFL Draft and first to play in the league, passed away Thursday at age 92. The Lions offered this statement:
Statement from the Lions on the passing of Wally Triplett: pic.twitter.com/1KLVz104Bn— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) November 8, 2018
- Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon has four coaching decisions the Lions could make to turn the season around (warning: slideshow).
- Matthew Stafford has not been good outside of the pocket this year:
These are the highest-rated QBs OUTSIDE THE POCKET this season, which can be by design or because the play breaks down.#FightForEachOther #InBrotherhood #FlyEaglesFly #FinsUp #Seahawks #LARams #BroncosCountry #GoNiners #Texans #GoPackGo #Browns pic.twitter.com/xJvXTGf9yw— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) November 8, 2018
- The Athletic (subscription required) has a great story on Frank Ragnow’s return to Minnesota with his NFL dreams in tow.