Detroit Lions C Frank Ragnow says his toe is ‘inoperable’

On Thursday, during a charity event, Frank Ragnow, the resilient center for the Detroit Lions, opened up about his ongoing battle with a troublesome toe injury. Despite enduring the pain and discomfort, Ragnow's grit and determination led him to secure his second Pro Bowl selection last season. However, this offseason, Ragnow opted not to undergo corrective surgery due to the unique nature of his injury, which he describes as “inoperable.”

Frank Ragnow Detroit Lions

Key Points

  • Ragnow faces a challenging “inoperable” toe injury that raises concerns about his long-term performance.
  • Ragnow's decision to forgo surgery due to the unique nature of his injury poses a significant risk but showcases his determination and resilience.
  • The Lions must carefully manage Ragnow's condition to ensure his productivity on the field while prioritizing his long-term health and effectiveness.

Why it Matters for Frank Ragnow and Detroit Lions

Ragnow's “inoperable” toe injury poses a significant challenge for the Lions and their star center. The severity of the injury and its potential long-term impact on Ragnow's game are cause for concern among Lions fans.

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Ragnow says his toe injury is ‘inoperable'

The ordeal began when Ragnow tore the plantar plate in his left foot during Week 4 of the 2021 season, forcing him to sit out the remainder of the year. To add to his misfortune, Ragnow re-tore the plantar plate on the opening drive of the Lions' Week 1 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles last season. As a result, his toe is now devoid of any healthy tissue, leaving him with limited options for a permanent solution.

“So it would have to be an experimental procedure to get that done and that’s not something the NFL O-linemen are in the business of,” Ragnow said.

“It’s a deal where it’s kind of inoperable, so it’s kind of something that we’re trying to navigate,” Ragnow said. “Manage. But hopefully, its not going to be near to the altitude of last year where it was like brutal.

Ragnow's case presents a complicated predicament. The severity of his injury makes surgery an experimental and risky choice, which is not a path typically pursued by NFL offensive linemen. Consequently, the Lions' medical staff and coaching staff face the challenge of managing Ragnow's condition while ensuring his productivity on the field.

Frank Ragnow Detroit Lions

Bottom Line: Pain management will be key

With surgery not being an option for Ragnow, managing his pain is going to be the key to his 2023 season. Ragnow said that this time around, the Lions are trying to be smarter about the injury.

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“We’re not rushing (back), making sure I get enough rest cause last season was one to forget in terms of that, so we’re trying to be smart,” Ragnow said.

Thankfully, Ragnow does not believe his toe injury is something he will have to deal with for the remainder of his career.

“Cause it’s like turf toe, right?” Ragnow said. “It’s the most severe degree turf toe. It just depends on how it impacts different guys. Like it’s different cause your sesmoid’s moving and stuff, but a lot of guys, they don’t even get the surgery so it just depends. But hopefully it scars over and that’s kind of how it’s been and it’s a lot better.”

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