49ers sign free-agent Ezekiel Ansah to bolster defensive line depth

49ers, Ezekiel Ansah (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
49ers, Ezekiel Ansah (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers have signed free-agent defensive end Ezekiel Ansah.

With the San Francisco 49ers dealing with an unprecedented number of injuries, particularly along the defensive line in recent days, the team decided to bring in a familiar face in the form of Ezekiel Ansah.

Ansah hasn’t played for the 49ers in the past, but he did visit the team multiple times this summer, although he never left with a deal. However, with the 49ers desperate for defensive line depth, they decided to bring him back.

And this time, they struck a deal.

The fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Ansah spent the first six years of his career with the Detroit Lions. He had some good years in Detroit too including a 14.5-sack season back in 2015.

But aside from an outlier 12-sack season in 2017, Ansah hasn’t managed more than four sacks in a season since 2015. And at this stage, he’s little more than a quality rotational player.

Ansah spent last season in Seattle where he played 11 games and totaled 2.5 sacks while serving as a situational pass-rusher. But he might be asked to play a bigger role in San Francisco given their recent injuries.

Ezekiel Ansah is reinforcements for the 49ers’ latest injuries.

Star defensive end Nick Bosa was carted off with a serious knee injury in Sunday’s 31-13 victory over the New York Jets and it was later revealed to be a torn ACL.

The same is true for fellow defensive lineman Solomon Thomas who was carted off just a few plays after Bosa. And much like his teammate, it was revealed on Monday to be a torn ACL meaning that both of their seasons are over.

That’s where a player like Ansah could step in and hopefully contribute. Unfortunately, the 31-year-old has a pretty extensive injury history of his own.

Ansah missed the Seahawks’ 2019 offseason program while recovering from shoulder surgery and later suffered a groin injury. He wouldn’t make his Seattle debut until Week 3 as a result of injuries — something that’s been a theme in his career.

The 49ers will hope to see no more significant injuries after losing the likes of Bosa, Thomas, as well as Jimmy Garoppolo and Raheem Mostert.

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The reinforcements have arrived. Let’s just hope no more are needed in the near future.