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Ezekiel Ansah Placed on Lions PUP List with Knee Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2018

DETROIT MI - NOVEMBER 26: Ezekiel Ansah #94 of the Detroit Lions leaves the game during the first quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 26, 2015 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Eagles 45-14. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions may be without their most-talented defensive player, as defensive end Ziggy Ansah has been placed on the physically unable to perform list with a knee injury. 

Entering 2016, Ansah had been one of the NFL's most disruptive defensive players since entering the league as a first-round draft pick in 2013. The campaign was a major struggle for him, though, as he battled injuries and finished with just 2.0 sacks in 13 games.

Ansah bounced back last season with 12.0 sacks, however, despite nagging injuries. The knee, in particular, has kept him out of most of the offseason workout program. 

The BYU product racked up a total of 15.5 sacks in his first two seasons, but 2015 was his breakout campaign, as he put up a career-high 14.5 sacks to go along with 47 tackles, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries en route to his first Pro Bowl.

Expectations were high for Ansah entering 2016, but he was dealt a major blow in Week 2 when a high-ankle sprain forced him to miss time.

Ansah had missed just two games in his first three NFL seasons, but the ankle injury knocked him out for three contests before returning to the Lions lineup.

He then sat out two games last season due to a back ailment.

Despite his recent injury issues, Ansah is undoubtedly a major key to Detroit's defensive success in 2018, and an absence of any length would be detrimental.

Cornelius Washington would likely be asked to slide into the starting lineup across from Anthony Zettel in the event of Ansah missing time. Also, Kerry Hyder and rookie fourth-round pick Da'Shawn Hand would potentially see added playing time.

Ansah remains an important figure for Detroit's defense since he commands blocking attention and opens things up for the other pass-rushers.

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