Ziggy Ansah Likely Finished As A Lion

The skills remain, but his body has betrayed him.

Will Burchfield
December 10, 2018 - 11:41 am

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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The final image of Ziggy Ansah as a Lion? It may well be the one we saw on Sunday, Ansah being carted off the field with a towel draped over his head. 

He re-injured his shoulder in Detroit's 17-3 win over the Cardinals, and his season appears over. Same for his Lions career. Ansah will be an unrestricted free agent this winter, and the Lions will be happy to get his money off the books -- $17.1 million this season via the franchise tag. 

It's unlikely they bring him back, even at a serious pay cut. He's become too injury prone the last three seasons to warrant another investment.

The team hasn't yet announced the extent of his latest injury, but David Chao, former team doctor of the Chargers, suggested Ansah dislocated his shoulder and will need surgery. 

It's a shoulder that has given him trouble throughout this season, starting in the first quarter of Week 1. He missed the next six games as a result. Now he'll likely miss the final three. 

Last year it was his knee, then his back, then his ankle. He managed to suit up for 14 games, but never looked like his once-dominant self. The year before that it was his ankle, and the story was the same. 

He hasn't played a full season since 2015 -- the year he racked up 14.5 sacks, earned a trip to the Pro Bowl and looked like one of the NFL's rising stars. He had 30 sacks from 2013-2015, tied for 10th in the NFL over that span with Von Miller, Chandler Jones and Cam Jordan. 

Since then, Jordan has 32.5 sacks, Miller has 37 and Jones has 40. Ansah has 18. None of the former three have missed a game. Ansah has missed 11, and rarely been at full health when he's played. 

As good as he once was, his body is now just as frail. And his time in Detroit is likely over. 

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