You’ve got to respect him. He’s a first-rounder for a reason. —Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, on teammate Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah
DETROIT — In his first game back after being sidelined for two weeks with an ankle injury, Detroit Lions rookie Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah made up for lost time Sunday afternoon.
The former BYU defensive lineman turned in a strong performance at Ford Field, even though the Lions lost to Tampa Bay, 24-21, in a contest that saw Detroit surrender five turnovers and a blocked punt.
Ansah recorded a pair of 10-yard sacks — one in the first quarter, and one in the fourth quarter. Ansah’s first sack put the Buccaneers in a second-and-long situation and they ended up kicking a field goal. His second sack gave Tampa Bay a third-and-20 on a drive that resulted in a missed field goal.
Ziggy also registered two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits for a defense that had struggled the past two weeks to get pressure on the QB.
“I thought we had good pressure the whole day. Our defensive ends are a big part of that," said Lions coach Jim Schwartz. "(Ansah’s) a big part of our defense and it was a long time getting him back. We needed to get him back.”
Sunday’s performance marked Ansah’s second multi-sack game of the season.
Ansah, who was drafted No. 5 overall in last April’s National Football League draft, has tallied a team-high five sacks on the year. On Sunday, he had two of Detroit’s four sacks, which is the highest single-game total of the season.
“You’ve got to respect him,” Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh told the Deseret News. “He’s a first-rounder for a reason.”
“He’s got a lot of upside to him,” defensive end Devin Taylor said of Ansah. “It was great to see him come away with two sacks today. We’re glad to have him out there. To see him just right back into the rotation and be effective and productive, the defensive line loved it. He really came through for us. You can’t ask any more from him.”
The Lions host the Green Bay Packers Thursday in their traditional Thanksgiving Day game.