The Detroit Lions are one point short of being 2-0 heading into a Week 3 matchup with Aaron Rodgers and the division rival Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, almost doesn’t count in the NFL, and the Lions lost their Week 2 game against the Tennessee Titans 16-15, meaning they’re 1-1 at this point.
While their defense was essentially woeful in Week 1, as they allowed 35 points to the Indianapolis Colts, they bounced back nicely against the Titans.
Unfortunately, they’ll be without a few key defensive players heading into Sunday, per Tim Twentyman of the team’s official website, with defensive end Ziggy Ansah being the name that stands out the most.
Before we get into Ansah, it’s worth noting that Lions fans are probably just a bit frustrated with the situation surrounding linebacker DeAndre Levy. The veteran signed a four-year, $33 million deal before the 2015 season, and the missed the entire year with a hip injury. The good news is that he’s back and played in one game, but fans are still hoping the team can get their money’s worth with the linebacker.
Now to Ansah, who’s in a situation that may wind up being worse than many anticipated. While Ansah has a high ankle sprain that he suffered last Sunday, it’s apparently been bothering him to the point where he’s had to get a second opinion on the injury, per ESPN’s Adam Caplan.
While there’s no specific report or timetable for Ansah’s return, the fact that he’s choosing to get a second opinion is never something that can necessarily be considered a good thing. Ansah is off to a pretty slow start to the 2016 season, as he’s totaled just two combined tackles and no sacks through two games. This is obviously disappointing after a 2015 season in which he totaled 47 combined tackles as well as career-highs in sacks (14.5), forced fumbles (four) and fumble recoveries (two).
If the former BYU product winds up missing any extended time, this could be a huge blow to the Lions’ chances of potentially being a darkhorse option to push for a playoff spot in the NFC. The Lions have shown now that they can get it done on both sides of the ball, albeit in two different games, and if this team can piece it all together, then they could wind up being a dangerous group.
While Ansah and Levy’s statuses are both concerning, the fact is, playing at Lambeau Field against Rodgers and company is always a tall task. Not having two of your top defensive players isn’t going to help that, and the Lions could be looking at a pretty significant uphill climb in Week 3.
The only good news is that after the game against the Packers, Detroit will take on the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins and Houston Texans in their next five games. Of those five teams, three of them rank in the bottom four of the NFL in points per game, while the Redskins rank No. 19.