Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow dealt with an uncommon injury during Sunday’s game with the Green Bay Packers. While we’re used to players bowing out with knee, shoulder and ankle injuries, among many other ailments, Ragnow actually fractured his throat but ended up staying in the game.
The technical term for gritty center’s injury is a laryngeal fracture, which if not handled properly could affect breathing, eating and vocal ability. All three functions are key for Ragnow’s ability to remain nourished and strong in the pivot, catch his breath after each play, and call out defensive schemes verbally as an extension of the quarterback in blitz pickup.
While Ragnow has not been ruled out for the Lions’ game against the Tennessee Titans this Sunday, signs appear to point to the third year offensive lineman not being able to suit up. According to reports, the team is working with consultants to determine the best course of action for Ragnaw’s recovery.
Early indications are that he can breathe without difficulty and has not had trouble eating, but may be required not to talk for an undetermined period of time. If the latter ends up being the case, then the Lions may be forced to turn to a reserve with vocal capability to communicate with the rest of the offensive line.
Although throat injuries are uncommon in NFL circles, they aren’t unprecedented. Defensive lineman Henry Anderson, who was playing for the Indianapolis Colts at the time of his injury, suffered a fractured larynx in 2017 that nearly put his career in jeopardy. Anderson got hurt early in that season, and had surgery a few days later—the injury ended up costing him the rest of that campaign.
Luckily, he was able to recover, and has played the last three seasons for the New York Jets, including starting 5 games for Gang Green this season.
If Ragnow ends up missing games as a result of his injury, it would be one of the few things that has kept him off the field in his NFL career. In three years, he has only missed one game in his NFL career, and in the games he plays, he does not come off the field. He played in 100% of Detroit’s offensive snaps in 2018, 92% last season, and had not missed a snap so far in 2020.
If there was ever a week where Ragnow’s potential absence could be comfortably absorbed, it’s this week against the Titans, who have compiled the fewest sacks of any team in the NFL so far this season.Published 17 Dec 2020, 15:45 IST