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Ansah returns but can’t help Lions’ weak pass rush

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Ezekiel Ansah, returning from injury, was back on the field for warmups Sunday.

Allen Park — Defensive end Ziggy Ansah finally returned to the field Sunday for the Lions.

But his impact was limited.

After missing the previous three-and-a-half games with an ankle injury, he played just 32 snaps in Detroit's 31-28 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. That accounts for about 55 percent of the total defensive plays. In his previous full game this season, in Week 1, he saw action on 50 plays, or 71 percent.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell wouldn't confirm that Ansah was on any sort of "pitch count," so to speak.

"We don't talk about strategic things of that nature," Caldwell said Monday. "We watched him and he was able to go, and he went.

"He did all right."

The Lions' defensive line, as a whole, had a horrific game, as Rams quarterback Case Keenum torched them, at one point completing 19 passes in a row. Keenum threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked just once, by Devin Taylor, for a loss of 10 yards.

Ansah, third in the NFL last season with 14.5 sacks, had just one tackle in Sunday's game.

The next test for the Lions' depleted defense is Washington and former Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, who threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns Sunday in beating the Philadelphia Eagles.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter @tonypaul1984

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