Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah is being placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, ending his season and potentially his time with the franchise that drafted him in the first round in 2013.
Ansah, 29, injured his shoulder during the first quarter of Sunday's 17-3 win over Arizona while attempting to tackle Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds. Ansah writhed on the ground as trainers tended to him after the play, and he eventually was carted to the locker room.
It was the second time Ansah injured a shoulder this season. In the first half of the season opener against the New York Jets, Ansah was forced from the game with an injury and missed the next five games.
He returned on a limited basis before playing a full complement of snaps on Dec. 2 against the Los Angeles Rams. He then was injured again Sunday, finishing his season with 12 tackles and four sacks.
The Lions used the franchise tag on Ansah this offseason, paying him $17.143 million in 2018 after not signing him to a long-term deal. He will enter free agency, provided Detroit doesn't re-sign him, as one of the top pass-rushers on the market.
In his six seasons with Detroit after being drafted fifth overall out of BYU, Ansah has dealt with shoulder, ankle, knee and biceps injuries -- including a shoulder surgery in 2014 and a knee cleanout this past offseason.
When he has been healthy, Ansah has been a dominant player, making 219 tackles with 48 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries over five seasons. He has had two seasons of 10-plus sacks, including his Pro Bowl year in 2015, when he had a career-high 14.5 sacks.
Ansah, who is from Accra, Ghana, did not start playing football until midway through his time at BYU. He initially tried to play basketball and run track for the Cougars before finding football, walking on to the team in 2010 and turning into a first-round pick.
The Lions (5-8) also placed tight end Michael Roberts on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.