ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Ezekiel Ansah has not taken a snap during a team period under new coach Jim Caldwell, yet there are already expectations placed on the second-year defensive end.
Ansah won't play Friday night at Oakland as he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery and has yet to be fully cleared to participate in every portion of practice. When Ansah is ready to return, he'll slide right into the defensive end slot currently occupied by Devin Taylor, who will move over to compete for the other defensive end position.
That'll happen, in part, because of what Caldwell expects out of last season's first-round pick.
"He’s out there doing everything but the heavy contact stuff right now, so it won’t be long," Caldwell said. "He’s progressing, (and he’s a) big, strong man, he’s going to help us. He's either going to collapse the pocket with his size and strength or he’ll run around the offensive player and use his length to be an obstruction to the passer, and he’ll get some sacks for us, as well.
"He's a force."
One of the bigger issues for Ansah as he returns is he is learning the defense while his teammates are working on trying to refine what they already picked up during the spring and beginning of camp. For that reason, it would not be surprising to see Ansah participate more than normal in the final two preseason games against Jacksonville and at Buffalo.
Until then, Ansah will continue to play catch up to the rest of his teammates.
And now, a look at Lions news from around the Interwebs:
Looking at Day 14 of Lions training camp. Calvin Johnson will wear a fabricated splint on his finger this season. The Lions' kickers faced an interesting challenge Wednesday in practice. Dan Orlovsky will be OK as a backup quarterback.
This week's Question of the Week: Who makes Lions players laugh?
Rob Sims wants to stay with the Lions after this season, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Ansah looks like he hasn't missed anything, writes Josh Katzenstein and Rod Beard of the Detroit News.
TJ Jones remains on the physically unable to perform list as he has nerve pain in his arm, writes Kyle Meinke of MLive.