Lions' Patricia understands fan frustrations with Ansah's injury

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Ziggy Ansah

Allen Park – Matthew Patricia gets it. The Detroit Lions coach understands fan frustrations with Ziggy Ansah’s shoulder injury. But the lingering issue, which has now sidelined the edge rusher six straight games, doesn’t bother the coach.

“The good thing for me is I don’t get frustrated and I don’t question it,” Patricia said. “When you’re with those guys every single day, you know that they’re trying to do everything they can. And look, everybody’s different with injuries or situations, whatever it might be. As long as everybody’s trying to do the right thing, you just kind of move on. And you just kind of accept what it is and when it’s ready, it will be ready. Until then, it just kind of is what it is and you get everybody else ready to go in the meantime.”

Patricia acknowledged fan frustrations, the paying customers who want to know why the team’s highest-paid defender isn’t back on the field nearly two months after getting hurt, especially when there was early optimism he wouldn’t miss any time. Still, Patricia is not willing to bend from his philosophy to explain it.

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“With the injury stuff, like we’ve talked about before, we’re never going to do anything that’s going to give anybody a competitive advantage against us,” Patricia said. “I think everybody understands that. That’s kind of where the league is right now with all the teams. So, it’s day-by-day for us so that we can just manage the player or the situation without putting any additional pressure on them. They have enough. They want to be out there.”

Patricia continues to be encouraged by Ansah’s progress, as slow as it seems to be going from the outside looking in. He said Ansah is “right in the mix right now” when talking about the team’s upcoming matchup with Minnesota.

“It’s kind of that day-by-day statement that we make because it is,” Patricia said. “You want to go out and see him be able to produce in practice and function at a level where, A, he can protect himself and B,  he can do what you need him to do and then be able to come in the next day and still feel like he’s moving in the right direction with that. So, it is day-by-day for us right now, but it’s certainly been good the last couple weeks to be able to see a little bit of consistency with that kind of preparation.

Ansah led the Lions with 12.0 sacks last season. He recorded a sack in the season-opener against the Jets before injuring his shoulder in a collision with teammate Devon Kennard.