Frank Ragnow is questionable for the Lions matchup with the New York Giants in Week 11. The Pro Bowl center has been battling an ongoing toe and foot injury, one that had him missing practice and in a walking boot during the week.
The Lions need Ragnow for this game, even as limited as he might be.
New York’s interior defensive line is a huge key for the Giants’ success. The combination of Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams is as good as any the Lions will see all year, especially in the pass rush department. Lawrence leads the Giants with five sacks and is the catalyst for everything New York does in attacking the quarterback. Williams has come back from an earlier injury with a monstrous two weeks: 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks, six QB hits and a forced fumble against Seattle and Houston.
Ragnow has struggled more with his range as a run blocker while battling the recurring toe injury, the same one that ended his 2021 season after just four games. He’s still been above-average as a pass protector and in close-quarter combat, and that’s where the Lions need him in this game.
Head coach Dan Campbell is optimistic Ragnow will be able to play with his questionable status.
“Frank took the boot off both feet today,” Campbell said before Friday’s practice. “He will be out there running around today, so I’m pretty optimistic. For Sunday, I’m pretty optimistic for Frank; we are, yep.”
Detroit does have a proven backup center in Evan Brown, a former Giants castoff. However, Brown is the Lions’ starting right guard after the team lost Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Tommy Kraemer to injuries and Logan Stenberg quickly played his way out of the lineup. There isn’t really a viable option to thrust into the lineup against that very good Giants front other than Dan Skipper, a 6-10 tackle who had an uneven trial by fire at guard.