With several former Cougars out with injury, Ziggy Ansah is having to carry the torch for the former BYU players in the NFL. While Ansah isn't the only former Cougar actively playing in the NFL right now, he is in a position to make the biggest impact.
In week 6, Ansah carried that torch well for BYU. Despite dealing with what appeared to be a leg injury of his own, Ansah was a dominate force for the Lions in their victory over the Vikings on Sunday. Ansah's impressive performance included a career high 2.5 sacks, the most by any Lions' defensive player since December 5, 2010. This was the fourth time Ansah has recorded 2+ sacks in his two-year career. Ansah also recorded 5 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 3 QB hits, and a forced fumble on Sunday.
Lions' head coach, Jim Caldwell, had this to say about Ansah's performance according to Tim Twentyman of detriotlions.com:
"Incredible performance. You saw him when he was walking, he was limping, but when the whistle was blown and the ball was snapped, he was full speed."
"He really did a nice job. I think he had two-and-a-half or three sacks, I’m not certain, but I know he applied pressure on that pocket all day long."
We may get to see Ansah's teammate and fellow former Cougar, Kyle Van Noy in his first regular season action in a few weeks. Caldwell mentioned on Monday that Van Noy may return to practice soon.
Caldwell said there "a chance" Kyle Van Noy gets cleared medically to return to practice this week— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) October 13, 2014
Because Van Noy was placed on the short-term IR, this is the first week he is eligible to return to practice. NFL Short-term IR rules also do not Van Noy to play for the Lions until after week 8.
Dennis Pitta (Ravens): Pitta is out for the season with a major hip injury he suffered in Week 3.
Ziggy Ansah (Lions): Ansah had 5 tackles, including 3 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 3 QB hits, and a forced fumble in Detroit's 17-3 win over Minnesota.
Kyle Van Noy (Lions): Van Noy remains on Detroit's short term injured reserve list.
John Denney (Dolphins): Denney handled long snapping duties for the Dolphins in Miami's 24-27 loss to Green Bay, but did not record any stats.
Brett Keisel (Steelers): Keisel had 2 tackles, including 1 solo tackle and a QB hit in Pittsburgh's 10-31 loss to Cleveland.
Dallas Reynolds (Giants): Reynolds played in New York's 0-27 loss to Philadelphia, but did not record any stats.
Cougars currently on NFL practice squads: Spencer Hadley (Raiders) and Daniel Sorensen (Chiefs).