Ziggy Ansah is Detroit's best pass rusher and franchise tag player. While immensely talented, injuries have been a bit of a problem for him.
He's battled them quite often, sometimes being able to play through, sometimes not.
Ansah was feeling healthy and excited about his role in Detroit's new defense the last time we talked to him toward the end of the preseason. He kicked off his 2018 season in very good fashion with four tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit in the first 20 minutes of Monday's game.
The sixth-year defensive end injured his shoulder in the second quarter of Detroit's 48-17 loss to the New York Jets Monday night and did not return.
"You know, it was his shoulder, so we got to go in there and take a look at it and see what's going on," head coach Matt Patricia said of the injury after the game.
The Lions have just seven defensive linemen on the 53-man roster and two of them – A'Shawn Robinson and Romeo Okwara – were among Detroit's inactives Monday night.
Hopefully this injury isn't significant, with the Lions already facing a short week and a west coast trip to San Francisco next weekend.
"The caliber of player that Ziggy is, it's hard to replace that," linebacker Devon Kennard said. "So, that definitely didn't help in any way. But I hope he's OK and we'll move forward."
For whatever reason, Robinson, the third-year defensive tackle and former second-round pick, hasn't taken off in Patricia's scheme the way many thought he would. Having played in a similar gap-control scheme in Alabama, Robinson looked like he'd be a good fit in the middle of Patricia's new defense.
It simply hasn't turned out that way.
He lost his starting spot to veteran Ricky Jean Francois during training camp, and was inactive for the season opener Monday night.
"I mean, I think the active list is a very difficult list to make when everybody is healthy on the roster and you're working into a game," Patricia said of Robinson. "There's certain facets that come into effect there, whether it's other sides of the ball or different things like special teams, things like that that you need to consider to make sure that you have enough depth there and enough bodies in position to go out there and play when things happen.
"So, just kind of one of those things. He works extremely hard. A'Shawn's a hard, tough-nosed guy and he's working hard to get better. It's just kind of what it is week in and week out."
The Lions are now faced with a short week. After a performance like the one the Lions had Monday, who knows, maybe having to turn the page quickly and move forward to the 49ers can be a good thing.
"I think number one, there are some things on this film that we're going to have to learn from," Lions left tackle Taylor Decker said. "We're going to have to learn from them quickly because we're a day behind on San Francisco.
"As much as this loss hurts, it's still Week 1 of the season. There's going to be a lot we can learn from and obviously, a lot that we can get better at. We will get better at it, I think we're all together on that and sticking together while improving. We're a better football team than what we showed tonight."