On Monday, the optimism surrounding the Detroit Lions’ pass rush lasted an entire quarter. Ezekiel Ansah and Devon Kennard each picked up a sack early and gave rookie Sam Darnold some heat in his debut. However, Ansah went down with an injury after just 19 defensive snaps, and the Lions’ pass rush vanished. They wouldn’t record a sack for the rest of the night.
Head coach Matt Patricia didn’t provide an update on Ansah’s shoulder injury after the game and he said his equivalent to “check the report” during Wednesday’s press conference. But a report from Adam Schefter suggests the Lions got good news regarding the Lions’ best pass rusher.
Last week, the Lions had only five defensive linemen active against the Jets, so Ziggy’s importance to the team cannot be overstated. In Ansah’s place, the Lions mostly played Kerry Hyder against the Jets, but that limited his ability to also play on the inside in some packages.
Ansah makes the entire defense better, there’s little doubt about that. However, if he can go, how effective will he look? We’ve seen an injured Ansah out there before, and it hasn’t been pretty. At this point, though, the Lions don’t really seem to have any better options.