Ngata (biceps) said he intends to continue his playing career in 2018, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports. "I think if I finished the year healthy I would have been a little closer to probably retiring, but I want to finish the season so I think I want to keep on playing," the veteran said.
The Lions were among the best in the league at defending the run with Ngata in the lineup this season, as the unit allowed just 74.6 rushing yards per game prior to the veteran tearing his biceps in Week 5 compared to 129.7 yards per game thereafter. Thus, it seems the soon to be 34-year-old has plenty left in the tank despite his advanced age. However, Ngata will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the league year and isn't guaranteed to remain in the same Detroit system if he does in fact continue his playing career in 2018.
Ngata will undergo surgery on his torn bicep Thursday and has been given a recovery timetable of four months, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Ngata was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with some optimism, but the announcement of surgery Thursday effectively ends the star defensive tackle's season. The 33-year-old had considered retirement after last season, and this serious of an injury may be enough for him to officially call it a career. Ngata has recorded 53 tackles (33 solo) and six sacks over his three years with the Lions.
Ngata picked up the injury in the first half of the Lions' Week 5 loss to the Panthers, resulting in the defensive tackle's early removal from the contest. The move to IR means that he'll be sidelined for at least the next eight weeks, but a source close to the situation has already informed Birkett that Ngata's biceps issue is serious enough to require season-ending surgery. The injury could spell the end of the road for the 33-year-old Ngata, a five-time Pro Bowler who had previously considered retirement after last season. The Lions signed fellow defensive tackle Caraun Reid to fill Ngata's spot on the 53-man roster.
Ngata sustained an elbow injury in Sunday's loss to the Panthers and didn't return, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Ngata was initially tabbed as questionable to return but never returned to the sideline and was eventually ruled out. Akeem Spence and Jeremiah Ledbetter rotated in at defensive tackle in Ngata's absence.
Ngata (shoulder) is active for Sunday's game against the Panthers, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports.
Ngata sat out practice Friday, typically an ominous sign for a player's availability on Sunday. Fortunately for the Lions, Ngata will suit up and will try to slow down former MVP Cam Newton and the Panthers offense.
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|