ALLEN PARK — It would be in Ziggy Ansah’s best interest to play since he’ll hit the open market after this season. The message from Lions coach Matt Patricia on Monday was that when Ansah is physically ready he will play.
Since signing the $17 million franchise tag before training camp, Ansah has played 19 snaps. The Detroit Lions Pro-Bowl defensive end injured his shoulder in the first half of the opening loss to the N.Y. Jets and hasn’t played since.
Patricia doesn’t like to talk about injuries and seems frustrated that he still has to field questions about the oft-injured Ansah.
Patricia’s first response to an Ansah question on Monday: “Next question. Let’s talk about something real important here.”
Then he clarified his thoughts.
“The guy’s trying every single day to get back out there. So, that’s what it is. Don’t make it anything more than that. That guy’s a competitive guy, wants to play football, he’s trying to do the best he can to help this team,’’ Patricia said. “He’s day-by-day. We’re taking it day-by-day and we’re trying to get him ready to go. As soon as he can go, he’ll help us.”
He did practice last week on a limited basis, but was inactive for Sunday’s win over the Green Bay Packers.
Ansah missed part of training camp because he injured his hamstring during his conditioning tests. He was also recovering from offseason knee surgery.
Ansah played in 14 games last season and 13 in 2013.
The Lions have a bye this Sunday so it gives Ansah and the other injured players an extra week to heal before they play at the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 21.