Ansah: 'I've been making good progress'

After missing the last three games, and all but three plays of a fourth game, it would certainly be justified if Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah adjusted some of the personal goals he had for himself entering the season.

Ansah, the NFC's leader in sacks last season with 14.5, hasn't played since early in the first quarter of the Lions' Week 2 loss to Tennessee because of an ankle injury.

Ansah has two tackles on the season, and is still looking for his first sack.

"You don't know my personal goals," Ansah replied Friday when asked by a reporter if he'd adjust his goals due to the time he missed. "It's not going to make a difference."

Ansah returned to the practice field as a limited participant Wednesday and Thursday, and also took part in the open session to the media on Friday.

"I've been out there trying to run around a little bit, but for now I'm just trying to work as hard to do my best to come out there," he said. "It's been feeling good."

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said Friday that Ansah has been "trending in the right direction," and even named him one of Detroit's three captains, as long as he continues to progress like he has throughout the week.

"It's hard not being out there and being able to help the team," Ansah said. "But I've been making good progress and I'm looking forward to getting out there."

Sitting out the last month has been hard on Ansah, but he has gotten some enjoyment from watching Kerry Hyder fill in for him and lead the team with five sacks so far.

"I don't think anybody is more excited for him than I am," Ansah said. "I get crazy when I'm home and he gets a sack. I'm really excited for him for what he's doing for us and himself, also. I know he's going to continue to do exactly what he's doing."

Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said this week that Hyder has earned an opportunity to continue to play. When Ansah comes back, Hyder's effectiveness over the last month will only help bolster the defensive end rotation.

"The more good players you have on the team, the better it is," Ansah said. "When someone goes out, someone has to step up and he's done an amazing job of that."

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