ALLEN PARK — The eyes of the sporting world turned upon Durham, N.C., last night. Actors and actresses and athletes of all stripes were at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and even a former president.
Yeah, Barack Obama was in the house.
And they were all there to see young Zion Williamson.
Who, you surely know by now, made it less than a minute before his shoe exploded. He sprained his knee on the play, and did not return. Duke went on to trail the entire game, and fears grew about the status of the rookie sensation — who, it appears, has avoided major injury.
Still, the bizarre play has dominated sports talk today — and it bears a striking resemblance to when Lions rookie guard Frank Ragnow blew out his shoe during a Week 16 game against Minnesota in December.
“I’m not really sure how (the cleats are) put together there, but I know there’s probably a lot of force working through them,” coach Matt Patricia said. “I was more concerned about if he had hurt himself on the play. The ankle injury and all the rest of it, sometimes when those things stick wide like that, I just wanted to make sure his foot was OK.”
Ragnow suffered a high ankle sprain as a senior at Arkansas and missed the final five games of the season. He also missed the Senior Bowl and combine, although that didn’t frighten the Lions from taking him with the 20th overall pick in the NFL draft.
He was immediately inserted into the starting lineup at left guard, and played pretty well too. After allowing 13 QB pressures in the first two games of his career, he allowed just 23 the rest of the season. He finished 39th among all guards according to ProFootballFocus. Oh, and he played 1,074 of a possible 1,075 offensive snaps.
Yeah. He didn’t miss another play the rest of the season.
“I missed the frickin one play,” Ragnow told the Lions’ team website. “The only one. Ahhh. Now I’m not going to be on (the list of players playing every snap) because of my stupid shoe. So yeah, I’m not too happy about it.”
Hey, at least his leg was OK.