Ziggy Ansah Won't Return vs. Cardinals After Suffering Shoulder Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2018

Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) prepares to warm up before an NFL football game against the New York Jets in Detroit, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)
Jose Juarez/Associated Press

Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah suffered a shoulder injury Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, Tim Twentyman of the team's official website reported.

Making matters worse, Twentyman also reported Da'Shawn Hand has a knee injury, leaving the Lions without their two best defensive ends.

Ansah was durable early in his career, although the Lions placed him on the physically unable to perform list with a knee injury prior to the 2018 campaign. Still, the defensive end played at least 13 games in each of his first five seasons in the league since the Lions drafted him fifth overall in 2013.

Ansah helped anchor Detroit's defensive front in 2017, tallying 12 sacks in a bounce-back effort after he posted just two in 2016. He was at his best in 2015 when he torched opposing offensive lines with 14.5 sacks, establishing himself as one of the better pass-rushers in the NFL.

The Lions will have to rely even more on Romeo Okwara while Ansah is sidelined.

Still, Ansah's presence alone makes life easier for the other defensive linemen, as he often draws additional attention up front and clears rushing lanes for his teammates. The Lions likely need him back and healthy if they are going to play well down the stretch.

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