Detroit Lions: Offensive line injuries are troubling heading into Minnesota

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

The injuries continue to mount when it comes to the Detroit Lions.  Now, the organization will be forced to replace arguably their top player, Frank Ragnow, for multiple weeks.

The Detroit Lions recently placed one of the league’s top offensive linemen on injured reserve with what head coach Dan Campbell referred to as ‘kind of a turf toe’ issue.

Ragnow has earned the second-highest rating courtesy of Pro Football Focus (PFF), with an 86.2 grade.  Jason Kelce leads in the category carrying a mark of 88.2.  Ragnow grades out as the better all-around center, though with an elite pass-blocking mark of 90.2 along with a reliable run-blocking rate of 75.6.

Kelce sits at 95.2 as a pass blocker but a poor run blocker at 58.2.

Where will the Detroit Lions turn in hopes of replacing their pro bowl center?

With Ragnow on the shelf, joining a host of Detroit Lions, the organization will look to Evan Brown.  Brown filled in for Ragnow early last week after the fourth-year center exited the contest.

According to PFF, Brown has earned an overall grade of 53.3, which includes a pass-blocking mark of 61.3 and a run-blocking mark of 47.6 over 60 offensive snaps this season.

If things don’t work out with Brown, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Detroit turn to second-year lineman, Logan Stenberg.  Stenberg spent some time learning the center position last summer in hopes of expanding his skill-set and making himself more valuable as a professional.

Detroit may elect to slide Jonah Jackson who spent some time in college as a center but worked primarily as a guard to allow Stenberg into the lineup.

The Detroit Lions also recently signed Ryan McCollum from the Houston Texans’ practice squad. Detroit made this move before placing Ragnow on IR, but the signing was certainly signally what fans feared the most; this struggling Lions team would be without their top two, maybe three offensive linemen, for potentially a few weeks.

Ragnow now joins a lengthy list of impactful injured Lions, including Taylor Decker, Jeff Okudah, Romeo Okwara, Tyrell Williams, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Kevin Strong Da’Shawn Hand.

The Detroit Lions may also be without rookie tackle Penei Sewell who has yet to practice this week.  Friday will be a pivotal day to watch.  If Sewell practice’s Friday, he will have a shot to play Sunday against the Vikings; if not, the organization will be without both of their starting offensive tackles and its starting center.  Yikes.

Lions edge rusher Trey Flowers returned to practice this week on a limited basis with a leg brace.  He’s not entirely on track to play Sunday, but there is a possibility.

Next. Who’s up and who’s down after Week 4 loss?. dark

Also, something else to monitor, D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams, Michael Brockers, and T.J. Hockenson have all been limited during the week of practice.