By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN
After about a month or so of speculation, the Detroit Lions franchised their defensive end, Ezekiel Ansah. Ansah, out of BYU, was the Lions’ first pick in the 2013 draft. He’s shown that he can be an impact player on this defense.
In 2014 he was the Week 6 NFC Defensive Player of the Week. He was voted All-Pro in 2015 and made the Pro Bowl in 2015. He had 14.5 sacks and 39 tackles that season.
However, in 2016 and 2017 Ansah was hampered by injuries, leaving questions about if it was time to move on from Ansah. In what was considered to be one of GM Bob Quinn and new head coach Matt Patricia‘s first major personnel decision, they showed that they still feel that Ansah has the ability to make big plays. He is currently ranked 5th all-time in Lions history with 44 sacks.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) February 27, 2018
He has had quite a few injuries in the past two years. Injuries to his ankles, shoulders, and back kept him on the sidelines and on injury reports much of the past two seasons. The good news about those injuries is that none of these injuries required surgery. But the fact that he spent so much time out isn’t good.
Despite the fact that he is now franchised, the Lions will still probably look to add another defensive end in the draft as well. There really isn’t much depth at that position so acquiring some younger talent will help with depth.
Overall, it’s a good decision. I know at first I felt that letting him go may be the best option for him because he could get a little pricey. I wouldn’t want to spend money on him if he’s going to be injured a lot. But this decision gives them some time to see if he can go back to the numbers he was putting up in 2015. If he can, then there should be no problem signing a long-term deal. If not, and they’ve drafted a talented edge rusher, it could be next man up.
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