Lions Pro Bowler Shares Grim Details on ‘Brutal’ Injury

Frank Ragnow

Getty Frank Ragnow and Jared Goff talk during a Detroit Lions game.

Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow is hopeful for the future after two serious injuries to his left toe in the last two years — even if it means the possibility of playing through pain for another season.

Ragnow tore the plantar plate in his left toe in an October 2021 game against the Chicago Bears, undergoing surgery that ended his season. He re-injured the toe in the opening series of the season-opener against the Philadelphia Eagles last year, but this time had to play through the pain for the rest of the season.

Speaking to this week, Ragnow opened up about the possibility of facing another painful season ahead.

Lions Center Hopeful for Next Season

Ragnow had plenty of hope going into the 2022 season, having recovered from surgery and gained strength through training camp. But after he re-injured the toe in Week 1, Ragnow knew he would be dealing with a high level of pain for the rest of the season.

“I was so mad it happened again,” Ragnow said. “I was over it, and had a great training camp, feeling good, and then the first game of the season it happened. So, I just had to fight through it.”

As noted, Ragnow was unable to make it through a full week of practice for the remainder of the year, and was seen in a walking boot multiple times. Though he knows there is no surgery possible to remedy the injury, Ragnow is hopeful that he is past the worst of the pain.

“It’s a deal where it’s kind of inoperable, so it’s something we’re trying to navigate,” he said. “But hopefully it’s not going to be anything near the altitude of last year, where it was, like, brutal. … There’s no healthy tissue left, so it would have to be an experimental procedure to get that done. And that’s not something NFL offensive linemen are in the business of (trying).

“It’s like tuft toe, right? It’s the most severe degree of turf toe. A lot of guys, it just depends on how it impacts different guys. … Hopefully it scars over, and that’s how it’s been, and it’s been a lot better.”

Ragnow had been a staple of the Lions‘ offensive line since coming to the team as a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, starting 65 games and making the Pro Bowl twice including last season.

Lions Offensive Line Earns Praise

Having a fully healthy Ragnow could be a very important factor for a Lions’ offensive line that is regarded as one of the league’s best. Bucky Brooks of recently ranked the Detroit line as the league’s fourth-best.

Brooks noted that Ragnow is one of the best players alongside fellow first-round picks Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell.

“Dan Campbell’s trench warriors can mash and maul defenders at the line of scrimmage in the run game, while also displaying the cohesion and connectivity to handle exotic twists and stunts on passing downs,” Brooks wrote. “The O-line’s ability to excel within a balanced offensive approach speaks volumes of the individual and collective talents.”

Read More