It’s been a long and tough year for Detroit Lions veteran defensive end Ziggy Ansah. He’s fought through a number of different ailments, and hasn’t been a stranger to Detroit's training room this season.
But through it all, Ansah’s battled through the nagging injuries and had terrific stretches of production. The last two weeks are a perfect example of that.
He recorded three sacks in Cincinnati two weeks ago, and had another three Sunday against Green Bay. In all, Ansah had three tackles for loss and five quarterback hits on Packers quarterback Brett Hundley.
“First of all, just want to say that I’m really grateful for this year, you know, this battle that I’ve been through,” Ansah said after the game.
“I’m grateful for the fans, for the support that they have given to us. It’s been a rough year, you know, as we all know. But I’m not going to use that against anything, you know? It is what it is. People go through injuries, they bounce back and overall I’m just really grateful.”
The last two weeks have propelled Ansah’s sack total to 12.0 for the year. He’s the first Lions player with at least three sacks in back-to-back games. He ties Robert Porcher for the franchise record with four such games in his career.
Ansah is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The way he finished the season, and the way his stats look heading into the offseason, are likely to make him a desirable commodity in free agency.
He’s the best pass rusher on a team needing more in that department, so I’d expect the Lions to use any resource at their disposal to keep their athletic defensive end in Detroit for 2018.
A surprise inactive Sunday was rookie tight end Michael Roberts, who wasn’t on the injury report all week long.
Roberts had seen an uptick in playing time of late, and was starting to make more plays both as a pass catcher and run blocker. But a violation of team rules kept him away from Ford Field Sunday.
“Well, he was suspended because of conduct detrimental,” Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said after the game. “Actually, I shouldn’t say suspended. He didn’t dress and wasn’t in the building.”
Not a good way for the rookie to end his first season in the NFL.
One goal this week for a number of players was winning Sunday to complete the season sweep of the Packers, something that hadn’t been done in Detroit since 1991.
“It’s huge, you know?” veteran Glover Quin said after the game. “I mean, 5-1 in our division - you come in, you want to win all your division games and we were able to go 5-1, which is good in our division and sweeping the Packers. First time since 1991, I mean, that’s a big deal.
“You know, when you’re trying to win your division, you want to establish dominance in your division. You want to at least beat the teams in your division. So, it was about getting the win, it was about sending a message.”
Message sent and received after Sunday’s 35-11 thumping.
-- Darius Slay recorded his eighth interception of the season, the most for any Lion since safety Willie Clay had eight in 1995. It’s the most for a cornerback since Dick LeBeau had nine in 1970.
-- Teez Tabor (arm), Don Carey (knee) and Theo Riddick (rib) were all injured vs. Green Bay and did not return.