Lions’ slumping Ziggy Ansah: ‘I’m the same person’

Justin Rogers

Allen Park — Ziggy Ansah’s practice routine will tell you all you need to know about his knee.

After missing all of training camp, and not fully participating in any practices during the regular season, it’s safe to say he’s not 100 percent, and probably won’t be for the rest of the year. But he doesn’t want the injury to be an excuse for his uneven performance this season.

“No excuses for what I’m going through,” he said.

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Ansah is tied for the team lead with four sacks, but all but one came in Week 2, against a struggling New York Giants offensive line.

It’s the second consecutive season Ansah’s performance has been hampered by injuries. Last year, an early-season high ankle sprain sapped his effectiveness as he finished the campaign with only two sacks.

It begs the question, can he ever return to his 2015 form, when he dropped opposing quarterbacks behind the line 141/2 times?

“I’m the same person,” Ansah said.

Ansah, 28, is in the final year of his rookie contract with the Lions and will be a free agent this offseason. At this point, he said there’s been no conversation about needing surgery on his ailing knee.

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Much like he did earlier in the week, Lions coach Jim Caldwell deferred assessing Ansah’s performance until the end of the season.

“Like I said, we just got started,” Caldwell said. “He’s a tough guy and does a nice job at what he does. Let’s see where he ends up. This is the time of year I don’t think you make pronouncements in any sort of way, good or bad, because it’s a long season and obviously we’ve got a stretch to go yet.”