Lions' Frank Ragnow escapes shoe malfunction unharmed

By Matt Schoch
Special to The Detroit News
Lions offensive lineman Frank Ragnow's shoe comes apart after a hit in the second quarter on Sunday.

Guard Frank Ragnow had a wardrobe malfunction for the Lions on Sunday with a busted left shoe.

Fortunately for the rookie, the shoe — and not his surgically repaired ankle — was the only casualty in the Ford Field finale, a 27-9 loss to Minnesota.

Early in the second quarter, the sole of Ragnow’s shoe split loose from the rest. After trying to run off the field, Ragnow hit the ground short of the Lions’ sideline and was tended to by trainers on the field checking on his left ankle.

“I’m not really sure how they’re put together there, but I know there’s probably a lot of force working through them,” coach Matt Patricia said Monday of the 308-pound rookie. “I was more concerned about if he had hurt himself on the play. The ankle injury and all the rest of it, sometimes when those things stick wide like that, I just wanted to make sure his foot was OK.”

Ragnow missed the final five games of his senior season at Arkansas because of a high ankle sprain. The injury, which also included ligament tears, required surgery, throwing a curveball into his pre-draft process. He did not participate in draft combine drills or play in the Senior Bowl.

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The Lions (5-10) took a gamble on Ragnow at No. 20 and have so far been rewarded, especially with his durability.

Ragnow missed one play after the shoe scare, his only missed offensive snap of the season. He has played the other 1,001 snaps, a.99.9 percent snap rate that is tied for the team lead with center Graham Glasgow, who also has missed one play.

Agnew bounces back

Jamal Agnew’s return to the return game got off to a shaky start on Sunday, recovering his first quarter dropped punt on his first touch in more than two months.

Things got better, as Agnew played 11 special team snaps in his first game since suffering a partially torn ligament in his left knee in a Week 5 win against Green Bay on Oct. 7.

“We know it takes a little bit to get acclimated to that, but we’ll see what the play time looks like this week when we get everything put together here and as we go forward,” Patricia said.

A Pro Bowl returner in his rookie season last year, Agnew returned two kickoffs for 49 yards and five punts for 18 yards.

Agnew did not play on defense after playing at least 11 snaps with the unit in each of the five games before his injury.

A present from Patricia

The Lions were given a day off on Monday: Basically a “Victory Monday” without the victory.

There were no scheduled meetings for players in Allen Park, though some players were at team headquarters getting treatment, Patricia said. 

The coaches were going to be working longer on Monday to have Christmas Day with their families on Tuesday, a schedule planned out before the team was eliminated from playoff contention, Patricia said.

“It’s different than a normal week, sure,” Patricia said Monday. “Obviously, with the holiday, we’re trying to do the right thing with that and be respectful of everybody. So, it’s a little bit of a different day for us today, but that’s OK. We tend to handle schedule changes here a lot.”

Players will have their usual Tuesday off as well and preparations will begin Wednesday for the season finale Sunday at Green Bay (6-8-1). With Green Bay's win on Sunday, the Lions were guaranteed to finish in last place in the NFC North for the first time since 2012.

Matt Schoch is a freelance writer