Detroit Lions: Jarrad Davis, Frank Ragnow injuries not season-ending

Jarrad Davis and Frank Ragnow did not suffer season-ending injuries in the Detroit Lions’ preseason loss to the Bills on Friday night.

Lions coach Matt Patricia gave the update during a conference call on Saturday afternoon. 

He said neither one will play in the final preseason game at Cleveland on Thursday, but wouldn’t put a timetable on their returns. He also said neither one is in the category to be placed on injured reserve to return.

“The one great thing about these two guys is they have tremendous work ethic, we know they’re going to be working as hard as they can to get back as soon as possible,’’ Patricia said.

Patricia offered no specifics on the injuries.

Davis, the starting middle linebacker, was injured on the second snap of the game. And eventually carted off to the locker room from the sidelines. 

“Obviously J.D. does a tremendous job inside the building, outside the building, he just loves football. It’s 24/7 with him. He loves to study it, he loves to learn,’’ Patricia said. 

Ragnow, the starting center, went down about midway through the second quarter. He was helped off the field and it appeared he could not put weight on his right leg.

The first-round pick in 2018 started at left guard last season but moved to center during the offseason. 

UPDATED: Lions Jarrad Davis, Frank Ragnow injured in preseason loss to Bills

DETROIT — Nothing mattered when the game was over except that the Detroit Lions could have lost two starters for the season.

The Bills won 24-20 on Friday night at Ford Field, but that was almost inconsequential. 

Starting middle linebacker Jarrad Davis went down on the second snap of the game. It appears to be a right ankle injury. He was helped to the sideline and then carted off to the locker room. Never a good sign.

Davis had worked hard in the offseason to add 15 pounds of muscle to his frame. It appeared he was headed for a breakout season in his third year. 

Ragnow, a first-round pick in 2018 who moved to center in the offseason, went down midway through the second quarter. Medical personnel helped him off the field. He could not put weight on his right leg. No stopping at the bench, they helped him to the locker room immediately.

“We lost a couple guys early in the game, we have to grind through this here and through tomorrow and find out what’s going on,’’ coach Matt Patricia said. “With J.D. and Frank there’s nothing really to report right now, we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow and go through the normal procedures the day after the game to see what that looks like and go from there.’’

He offered no specifics on the injuries.

Rookie Jahlani Tavai would be the likely replacement for Davis if he’s out. After Davis went down it was Tavai and Jalen Reeves-Maybin lining up in the 3-4.

On the offensive line, Graham Glasgow moved back to center after Ragnow went out. Glasgow started Friday night at right guard, but was at center last season. Joe Dahl started at left guard. Kenny Wiggins, who started 10 games at right guard in 2018, could be the top option at right guard. 

“We’ve got to keep pushing forward as far as getting ready to go for us the big thing is we have to compete, the competition is still wide open and we’ve got to go out and guys have to make the most of their opportunities and we’ve got to continue to get better,’’ Patricia said.

(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions) 

Quarterback Matthew Stafford saw his first preseason action, playing into the second quarter. 

“It was good, had some fun, I love playing. I don’t care what the situation is. We practice hard, I want to go out there and play,’’ Stafford said. “It was good to go out there and operate. Some things to clean up on tape, some really good things we did but some things we have to clean up for sure and we’ll make sure we do that.’’

He was 12-of-19 for 137 yards and one touchdown. He appeared to escaped unscathed.

“It’s tough to judge where (the offense) is, where it’s going to be. I just know we’re always trying to be better,’’ Stafford said. “I think we made some explosive plays which was good. A few too many mistakes — stalled out in the red zone twice. One to Marv (Jones) I’d like back, just didn’t see it clear enough and obviously the fourth down we went for and didn’t get it. Those are two that you’d like to have back, but I was proud of the way the guys fought, our tempo was great, thought we ran the ball pretty efficiently, struggled a little early on, but did a nice job on the pass game and made some plays.’’

Rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson, a first-round pick, was targeted four times and came down with three catches for 52 yards, including a 32-yard gain. He and Stafford have connected well throughout training camp.

“It’s a lot of what you’ve seen in practice,’’ Stafford said.

Lions prepare for matchup against Bills; Dress rehearsal game? Not so much

ALLEN PARK — Matthew Stafford may or may not see action against the Buffalo Bills in the Detroit Lions third preseason game tonight.

Stafford hasn’t seen one preseason snap in the first two games (both losses) and coach Matt Patricia is keeping his plans a big secret when it comes to his quarterback. Stafford may or may not know if he will get a chance to give the new offense a whirl at Ford Field. He said earlier this week he’ll go in when he gets the nod.

Not so sure about the plans for the other starters either in the third game that in the past was known as the dress rehearsal preseason game. 

Things have changed under Patricia who has blazed his own path with big influences from his days with the New England Patriots.

So if you’re watching the game tonight, you might not see the starters but you will see guys working their butts off to make the 53-man roster.

Undrafted free agent rookies with a chance include offensive lineman Beau Benzschawel and  linebacker Anthony Pittman.

For nine consecutive seasons the Lions have had at least one undrafted rookie free agent crack the 53-man roster.

 Last season it was wide receiver Brandon Powell who is in a roster battle again this season. In 2017 a pair of defensive ends (Alex Barrett and Jeremiah Valoaga) broke the odds. Neither one is still with the Lions, but running back Zach Zenner remains after making it as an undrafted rookie in 2015.

Late draft picks like running back Ty Johnson (sixth round) and tight end Isaac Nauta (seventh round) could get plenty of playing time. 

“I think the thing for us, especially with young players, there’s still a lot of time left for training camp as we go through, we have to do our due diligence and take our time to evaluate these guys,’’ Patricia said on Wednesday. “There’s certainly going to be some improvement by some players on the roster over the next couple weeks and that’s going to be critically important for us to see some of that consistency right up to the time we try to decide who is going to be on the team to help us in that category.’’

When it comes down to making a roster decision on a veteran versus a rookie, Patricia said there are many issues to consider.

“I would say in general sometimes with the young players you try to project where they’ll be in October or November as far as where they are right now,’’ said Patricia taking into account that the rookies started from behind.  “… But in the end you’re going to try to go with whatever is best for your team at the time to try to help you and give you a chance to win however it unfolds itself out.’’