NFL injuries run the gamut from feet to knees to hamstrings to elbows to shoulders to heads. More often than not, the injury report includes injuries we know about. However, this week we got a new one. Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow suffered a fractured throat in Week 14 and apparently that’s not enough to say he definitely won’t play in Week 15!
#Lions potential Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow, who did not practice today, suffered a fractured throat in the first quarter Sunday and finished the game somehow, source said. He’s played the most snaps at center in the NFL this season… but could miss this week.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 16, 2020
Ian Rapoport later tweeted that the injury is a laryngeal fracture and offered up this information from the National Institute of Health. Lions beat writer Dave Birkett offered a little more detail on the injury. Specifically, “His airway/breathing is fine, and he can eat, but he’s not supposed to talk right now. Trying to determine how much time he’ll need to be out.”
The lack of talking is a big deal if Ragnow is responsible for line calls. The quarterback calls the start of the play, but often times the center handles calling out protection adjustments as needed. There could be room for developing a silent count, but it would seem like Ragnow is doubtful for Sunday — at least for the time being. We’ll learn more as the week progresses and what the specialists have to say.
Losing the center is a big deal and is often underrated when assessing a team’s chances each week. The center-quarterback exchange is important, but losing the person changing protections is of note. For the Lions, it’s even more concerning with Matthew Stafford uncertain for Week 15. Detroit could be sending out their backup quarterback and their backup center.