‘He Didn’t Want to Do It:’ Dan Campbell Details Frank Ragnow Surgery

Frank Ragnow

Getty Frank Ragnow on the field for the Lions in 2018 in Dallas.

The Detroit Lions have some competitors on their team, not the least of which is center Frank Ragnow. Ragnow has some true grit on the field as showed last year when he played through a throat injury. In 2021, he isn’t going to get the chance to push through his latest ailment.

Ragnow will be sidelined after having toe surgery, and that was a decision that apparently didn’t come to the player lightly at all and took some convincing from the coaching staff given how much Ragnow wants to be a part of the team in 2021.

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Speaking at his press conference on Wednesday, October 13, Dan Campbell talked about the decision for Ragnow to get surgery and his reaction. As the coach said, it wasn’t easy to convince Ragnow to go under the knife and miss time, but it was the right move for the future of both he and the team.

Detroit Lions Media Availability: Oct. 13, 2021 | Dan CampbellDetroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell's media availability from Oct. 13, 2021. Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: bit.ly/2OABzdx More Lions NFL Action: bit.ly/2oxtfjX #DetroitLions #Lions #NFL Keep up-to-date on all things Lions: Visit detroitlions.com/ Follow: twitter.com/Lions Follow: instagram.com/detroitlionsnfl/ Like: facebook.com/DetroitLions2021-10-13T15:14:39Z

“Frank had surgery. It went well and he did not want to do it, either,” Campbell said with a laugh. “He did not want to do it, but it was the right thing. But we’ll miss him and there again, Evan Brown has to step up. I thought he did a good job last week and he’s our guy, man. I expect him to continue.”

As Campbell confirmed, it was hard to tell Ragnow he had to shut it down for 2021 given his nature as a competitor, but it was the right decision given where the toe injury could trend in severity in the future.

“It’s tough, especially for somebody like him. It is tough. He feels guilty and he doesn’t need to feel guilty. That’s why you love him though, too. He wants to be a part of this and he feels like he’s letting guys down and it’s just the opposite,” Campbell said to the media. “You’re being unselfish when you need to be selfish about this because, maybe there’s a chance you get him back at the very end of the year (without surgery), but there’s a bigger chance that however it scars in, it’s not properly healed the right way and we’re dealing with this for the rest of his career or it gets arthritic sooner than later and now it’s like, ‘what are we doing?’ So it was the right thing to do. It was significant enough to where it needed to be fixed properly and let it heal properly.”

Though Ragnow likely wanted to tough it out, credit Campbell for letting cooler heads prevail and making a sound medical decision. Clearly, though, Ragnow is amongst the grittiest competitors in the league with this situation in mind.

Ragnow Shares Update After Surgery

A quick glance at Ragnow’s social media courtesy of Chris Burke of The Athletic shows a player who burned with desire to stay in the mix for the Lions this season even in spite of their 0-5 record. As Ragnow said on Instagram, he is doing well after having surgery on his “stupid” toe, and he admitted that the team will be fine even though it will be hard personally for him not to follow his teammates into battle.

Ragnow is the consummate competitor, something he has proven many times on the field. Even though that’s the case, the Lions were smart to proceed in this way, and Ragnow can now focus all of his attention toward rehabbing the injury so he can be back on the field pain free in 2022.

Ragnow’s Toe Injury Revealed Season-Ending on Tuesday

Ragnow, the team’s Pro Bowl center who went on injured reserve last week with a toe injury and figured to perhaps return in a month or so has now been lost for the season. That’s because Ragnow indeed had surgery on the injured toe, and will be lost for the rest of the season as a result.

This news was first revealed on the morning of Tuesday, October 12 by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. As he reported, Ragnow would be undergoing surgery on the toe, and would be missing the rest of the 2021 season so that he might be ready for 2022.

Ragnow exited Week 4’s game in Chicago with the injury and missed Week 5, and Evan Brown came in as his replacement. While Brown is not Ragnow, the Lions didn’t have any trouble with snaps, and the team managed to survive the situation well all things considered. Brown will now be the guy moving forward for the Lions at center the rest of the season.

For the Lions, next man up is becoming the theme of a lost 2021 season that has seen plenty of problems due to injury. Ragnow is merely the latest tough story for the team.

Come 2022, Ragnow will be back and healthy. This setback now is only temporary, and the hope is he can have a much healthier tomorrow as a result of the collective decision made in October 2021.

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