Detroit Lions Rule Out Ziggy Ansah vs. Green Bay Packers

Sep 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) is helped off the field by medical staff during the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) is helped off the field by medical staff during the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah has been ruled out of the Detroit Lions‘ week three game at the Green Bay Packers while DeAndre Levy is doubtful to play.

The Detroit Lions’ week of practice ahead of their week three road game against the Green Bay Packers has come to an end. With that comes the release of the final injury report of the week and gameday designations.

It’s been an ugly injury report all week and the last installment isn’t much better as star defensive end Ziggy Ansah (ankle) has been ruled out of action for Sunday’s game.

The Lions left some room for hope that DeAndre Levy (quad) will return to the field after missing week two, but not much. Levy has been listed as doubtful to play. That is the same designation he received on the final week two injury report before being left off the active gameday roster leading up to kickoff.

Fellow linebacker Antwione Williams has also been listed as doubtful, leaving the linebacking corps thin again this week. Kyle Van Noy, who strangely pulled-up mid-play last week with a leg injury, was back as a full participant today after being limited on Thursday. Van Noy (calf) is listed as questionable to play.

Also listed as questionable are Adairius Barnes (ankle), Eric Ebron (back), Wallace Gilberry (abdomen), Riley Reiff (ankle), Devin Taylor (ankle), Tyrunn Walker (calf) and Larry Warford (illness).

Here is what head coach Jim Caldwell had to say at his practice presser today.

On how the team’s depth at defensive line helps prepare the team to deal with injuries: “I believe we are well equipped to make certain that we have guys in place if there are some issues from an injury standpoint that we have to shuffle a guy around here or there. They’re versatile enough up front. We kept the number of (defensive linemen) them that we kept for a reason and that’s because of the fact that there are a lot of good players in that spot. We’ve just got to play like it and they’ll get a real challenge this week.”

On why the team has had injury issues: “No different than any other year, no different. Every year is the same. It might be just a number of one position here or there, but it’s no different.”

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On if he has compassion for players suffering injuries across the League: “Do I have compassion for guys that get injuries? Absolutely, it’s preposterous to think that I would not. Dealing with men that you lead and you get close to and all those kinds of things, there’s no question about that. But I’ve got a job to do, too. We’ve got a job to do and everybody understands exactly what’s at stake when you’re involved in this game, so those things come into play. So you have to be able to keep your focus and your team understands it. You have to explain it and the thing most of you probably understand is we don’t just talk about these kinds of issues at this point in time. We know they’re coming, so we talk about them in the spring. We talk about them in camp. We talk about them at the cut down point, so those are the things they are well aware of. It’s nothing new to them. They have to be able to deal with it and they’ve dealt with it all their life. They’ve played this game a long time.”

On what characteristics teams that finish games strong consistently usually have: “To me it doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you win and oftentimes it may be different ways to going about it. It could be forcing a turnover at the end of the game. It could be running back a kick in special teams. It could be a number of different things. The real most important thing is winning. There’s no formula that you can say, ‘x equals y, y equals z,’ because of the fact the game is such where there are a lot of variables that you have to deal with, weather conditions, health of your team, all kinds of stuff. There is no actual formula, but you’d like to be able to see obviously if you’re behind, you can come from behind and win. If you’re ahead you can maintain it and close it out. Those are the things that you look for, but in our league it’s always close. It’s always tight. It’s always going to be that way.”

On if yards per attempt in the rushing game is a key indicator in evaluating the running game: “That’s the way we look at it most of the time. There are some factors, obviously there are a lot variables, but the yards per attempt we’d like to be somewhere over four. Typically when you’re in that neighborhood you’re over four, four plus, you’re moving the ball at the kind of clip that you’d like. If you’re running the ball on first down you stay in manageable downs on second down, things of that nature.”

On the second opinion regarding DE Ezekiel Ansah’s ankle injury: “We don’t talk about injuries, prognosis or anything of that nature.”

On if there’s any update on LB DeAndre Levy’s health: “Same answer.”

On if there’s a concern that Ansah may be out for the year: “Same answer.”

On if he feels like the team’s depth puts them in a good position to deal with injuries: “Every team’s a little bit different. I think you remember the first year we lost a nickel a week almost. I think the guys battled back. We were able to get in position to win some games. Last year I think we had several. I mentioned the other day, Crezdon Butler. We signed Crezdon Butler on Saturday morning, he knocked down the two-point conversion on Sunday. Those are a natural part of what we do, you know, you guys have been around a long time. You guys have seen it week in and week out, team after team. The teams that are able to adjust under those circumstances are the teams that continue to find a way to win and that’s what we anticipate that our team is going to be able to do. We have a lot of guys that have been through quite a bit just in terms of played a number of games in this league, have a good understanding, very good leadership. They won’t blink, they won’t flinch and they’ll keep fighting, so that’s the key.”

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On if injuries put more of a demand on the coaching staff to get players ready to play: “Not really. One of the things that we talk to them about when we’re down to 53 is that we tell each and every one of them, or stand there in front of them, there’s 63 guys in that room if you include the 10 practice squad guys, and we tell every single one that you have to prepare exactly like you’re going to start every week. The reason why we do that is simply because of the fact that in some point in time it’s probably going to happen. You’re going to be an integral part of what we’re doing so you have to be ready mentally. You have to make certain you understand all the nuances of the game. Even though you may be emulating the opposition’s offense or defense or kicking game, you still have a responsibility to make certain you know exactly what your assignments would be if we called upon you to start that particular game, that particular week. That’s not new. That’s something that we try to ingrain. It’s part of the philosophy. We do things with young guys extra to make sure that they’re getting teaching even though they may be third-team at this time or whatever, but we’re working on that guy, getting that guy ready because his time’s going to come at some point in time. A guy I worked for a long time ago used to call it preventive medicine, that was years ago back in the ‘70’s, but you know nowadays we try to make certain that we prepare our team to deal with issues like this.”

On if S Miles Killebrew could play linebacker if necessary: “We have a lot of versatile guys, you know. We have lots of different packages and things like that we use. We have a lot of things. If you’ve watched us, anytime you see a defensive back come into the game and there’s five in the game, one of those guys is playing what? That’s kind of how it is.”

Next: Lions Should Give Killebrew Time at Linebacker

On the captains for Week 3 against Green Bay: “(Matt) Prater, Tahir (Whitehead) and Theo (Riddick).”