Lions rule out Frank Ragnow, three other starters questionable for Washington game

Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions will be down a second starting offensive lineman for the team’s Week 2 game against the Washington Commanders, ruling out center Frank Ragnow on Friday.

Ragnow suffered a groin injury in the week of practice leading up to the season opener, but he was still able to start the contest, playing all 69 offensive snaps. This week, he was sidelined the full week of practice, while adding a foot injury to his list of concerns.

It remains unclear whether that foot injury is related to the surgically repaired toe that shelved him the final 13 games in 2021.

Regardless, the injury leaves the Lions down two starters up front after right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai was placed on injured reserve with a back injury that required surgery this week.

And things could potentially be even worse for the Lions’ offensive line on Sunday with guard Jonah Jackson listed as questionable for the contest.

Jackson, a Pro Bowler in 2021, suffered a finger injury during Wednesday’s non-padded practice. He was on the sideline for Friday’s session with the ring finger on his right hand taped up. That means the team faces the prospect of being down all three of its interior linemen against Washington.

Logan Stenberg, a fourth-round pick in 2020, stepped in to replace Vaitai in the opener, and the team has a known commodity in Evan Brown to fill in for Ragnow at center. Replacing a second guard spot would be trickier, especially after placing top backup Tommy Kraemer on injured reserve this week.

That leaves the two most likely candidates as Drew Forbes and Kayode Awosika, neither of whom was on the roster two weeks ago. The Lions claimed Forbes off waivers from the Browns on Sept. 5 and signed Awosika off the Eagles’ practice squad on Thursday. Combined, they’ve seen 43 regular-season snaps, all going to Awosika in last year’s season finale.

Forbes told The Detroit News he’s been able to adjust quickly to his new surroundings because of a welcoming locker room and having a playbook and verbiage that has significant overlap with what he was used to from his time in Cleveland.

But when asked about the possibility of playing against Washington, he deferred answering those questions until after the game.

As for Awosika, he might need to be active Sunday, despite having only two practices with the Lions under his belt.

“He popped on film and then, out here in practice yesterday, it was good to see him moving around,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said about Awosika. “I mean, he’s got good movement skills, has some power. There again, he’s just new to our terminology, and he’s young too. He hasn’t really played. But we like the ability, he seems like a pretty sharp guy.”

In addition to Jackson, the Lions also listed running back D’Andre Swift, cornerback Amani Oruwariye and safety Ifeatu Melifonwu as questionable.

Swift, who rushed for 144 yards in the season opener, returned to practice on Friday in a limited capacity after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday with a sprained ankle. Meanwhile, Oruwariye, Detroit’s starting cornerback who intercepted six passes last season, was out for the second consecutive day with back tightness.

Swift declined interview requests in the locker room following Friday’s practice, but he told reporters earlier in the week he intended to play against Washington.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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