Why Detroit Lions’ Frank Ragnow ‘wouldn’t be pissed’ if Chiefs’ Chris Jones misses opener

Detroit Free Press

Frank Ragnow is a new dad, and a private one at that.

He prefers to keep his family life out of the spotlight, but a week after his wife, Lucy, gave birth to the couple’s first child, Ragnow said the experience has given him a different perspective on life.

“Even just like these long camp days, I feel like I miss so much, I’m FaceTiming them every break,” Ragnow said. “She’s giving me the poop updates and all that stuff.”

Ragnow sat out joint practices with the New York Giants last week and did not play in the Detroit Lions‘ preseason opener Friday at Ford Field. He returned to practice Monday and was back in the pivot for Wednesday’s joint practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“You can feel him when he’s out there,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “You can feel his presence. The way he plays, I mean, he just, he’s a dude. He’s a dude, and so to get him out there, it’s good to have him. It’ll be good to have him out here today, and so when you get him in there with those other guys, it’s like all the pieces fall right into place.”

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Coming off his second Pro Bowl in three seasons, Ragnow has looked sharp and stayed healthy this summer. Still, Campbell said Ragnow’s return is important for an offensive line that still needs some fine-tuning before the Lions’ Sept. 7 season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Lions return four starters up front — Ragnow, left tackle Taylor Decker, left guard Jonah Jackson and right tackle Penei Sewell — but have rotated Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Graham Glasgow at right guard throughout camp.

Vaitai missed all of last season with a back injury, while Glasgow and Ragnow last played together in 2019. Vaitai and Glasgow split first-team reps Wednesday.

“We’re all pretty on the same page, so it’s cool,” Ragnow said. “And that helps me a lot. Not have to worry. I can go home, I can feel good, miss a little time with the baby and we’re still good.”

Ragnow said his first week as a dad was “crazy,” and now that he’s back playing football, he said fatherhood should help him on the field.

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“I’m a high-anxiety guy, thinking about every possible situation, worrying about every single play,” Ragnow said. “But now it’s just like, go out there, do your thing, confident. So getting back into it I kind of a feel like a baby giraffe with fresh legs and everything. Everything will settle down, got to get the technique worked out, the rust worked out but it’s been good.”

As for the Chiefs, Ragnow said he has paid only passing attention to All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones’ training camp holdout.

Jones could miss the start of the regular season if he does not get a new deal before the end of the month. If that happens, Ragnow won’t be lodging any complaints.

“Wouldn’t be pissed,” he said. “That’s my comment.”

Hutch happy

The Jaguars took Travon Walker over Aidan Hutchinson with the first pick of last year’s draft, and Hutchinson couldn’t be happier with the way things worked out.

“Very thankful,” Hutchinson said Wednesday. “It all worked out. It was divine timing, so it was the way things unfolded were the way things were supposed to go.”

Hutchinson, who returned to practice Wednesday after missing time this week with an ankle injury and illness, said he hasn’t thought about the what-ifs had the top of the draft gone differently.

Walker had 3.5 sacks and one interception in 15 games for Jacksonville last year, while Hutchinson had 9.5 sacks and three interceptions and was runner-up for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

“Obviously a great player,” Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said. “Did our due diligence and really studied him and all the top edge rushers last year. And the way he came out and played obviously in our game and the way he, what 9.5 sacks last year? Just a great performance for a young player, and obviously the sky’s the limit, he’s just going to continue to get better and he really makes that defense a little more solid.”

As good as Hutchinson was last season, Pederson insisted the Jaguars are “100%” happy with their pick.

“That’s just the way it works,” he said. “I’m excited for both players. Two young players that are going to have great careers in this league.”

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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