The Detroit Lions offensive line keeps getting hit with injury. Earlier on Wednesday, the Lions placed Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow on injured reserve, joining franchise left tackle Taylor Decker. Head coach Dan Campbell has already essentially ruled Decker out this week, despite being eligible to come off IR, but that’s not all of the injuries the Lions are dealing with along the offensive front.
Campbell revealed on Wednesday that first-round pick Penei Sewell is currently dealing with an ankle injury and his status for this week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings is up in the air.
“He’s a little banged up,” Campbell said. “We’ll find out. We’ll see where he’s at. He’ll probably be limited today if not out, and then we’ll go from there.”
Sewell had been playing left tackle in replacement for Decker, while Matt Nelson stepped up and took Sewell’s place at right tackle. While Sewell played every snap last week against the Chicago Bears, it was clear by the end of the contest he was in pain.
It’s unclear what the Lions would do at left tackle should Sewell miss the Vikings game, but the Lions do have Will Holden, who has a limited amount of starts at left tackle at the NFL level.
It’s a tough blow for an already beat up roster, especially with Minnesota’s attacking defensive front up next. The Vikings have 13 sacks already this season, good for fourth-best in the league.
“When they know they can get you in passing downs, it’s an issue,” Campbell said. “They’re a fast, aggressive defense. That’s the premise of it. If they can get to the quarterback—as with most defenses—they get you in a bind.”
And the news isn’t good for Ragnow’s return, either. Though the center’s turf toe injury isn’t expected to keep him out for the year, Campbell did not exactly sound optimistic about his return anytime soon when talking about their signing of backup center Ryan McCullum.
“We wanted to make sure, especially knowing that Frank could be down a while—we think could be down for a pretty long time—to have a guy at true center that can help and back up Evan (Brown). So we’re glad we that got him in the building.”