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Detroit Lions injury updates: Da’Shawn Hand, Ezekiel Ansah could be done for the year

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It doesn’t look good for the Lions’ defensive front.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions were beat up on Sunday in their pyrrhic 17-3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. The injuries started early and never really relented the entire game. At least a dozen players missed some playing time in Sunday’s contest, and a handful of players never returned to action.

The two most significant injuries were the first two. Da’Shawn Hand went down in the first quarter after getting rolled up on by a teammate. He was carted off and did not return to the game.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Hand suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain. While that is fairly good news—Hand probably won’t need surgery—it could still mean his season is over. Per David J. Chao, a former NFL doctor, the recovery time is around 2-4 weeks:

For a young player as promising as Hand, it may be best to just sit him for the rest of the year. If there’s any chance at all of reaggravating the injury, there’s no question: end his season. Any short-term benefit of him playing is not worth the risk of a longer-term ailment.

As we saw with Ezekiel Ansah, bad injuries can get worse. Ansah, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury since Week 1, appears to have made the situation a lot worse. In the first quarter against the Cardinals, Ansah was clutching his shoulder and appeared to be in considerable pain. While there has been no official diagnosis made public, the outlook isn’t good:

A torn labrum is the injury that cost left tackle Taylor Decker the first half of his 2017 season, and Decker hasn’t really been the same since.

While Chao suggests this won’t affect his upcoming free agency status, I strongly disagree. With Ansah’s already lengthy injury history, entering the 2019 season coming off shoulder surgery—should Chao’s diagnosis be accurate—would represent yet another significant risk for the talented pass rusher. It’s an unfortunate situation for Ansah, who tried to play through the injury, but only ended up making it worse.

As for the rest of the Lions injuries, we likely won’t know their statuses for the final few games until we see the first injury report of the week on Wednesday. Players like Bruce Ellington (hamstring), Charles Washington (hamstring), Rick Wagner (concussion) and Marcus Cooper (back) all suffered injuries on Sunday.