Free Press sports writers Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez preview the Detroit Lions-Minnesota Vikings game on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018.
Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press

MINNEAPOLIS — He’s baaack.

Seven weeks after he injured his right shoulder in a season-opening loss to the New York Jets, Ziggy Ansah is finally healthy enough to play again for the Detroit Lions.

Ansah, who’s missed six straight games, is active for today’s NFC North showdown with the Minnesota Vikings.

The 29-year-old defensive end has practiced on a limited basis for most of the past two months, since colliding with teammate Devon Kennard after Kennard’s sack on Sam Darnold in the first quarter of Week 1.

Lions coach Matt Patricia expressed optimism Friday that Ansah would return to action this week, and when Ansah traveled with the team to Minnesota, after he was left at home for the Lions’ previous road trip to Miami, it seemed likely that he would make his return today.

“He’s right in the mix right now with all of it,” Patricia said Friday. “You want to go out and see him be able to produce in practice and function at a level in practice where, A, he can protect himself and, B, he can do what you need him to do. And then be able to come in the next day and still feel like he’s moving in the right direction of that. So it is day-by-day for us right now, but it’s certainly been good the last couple weeks to be able to see a little bit of consistency with that kind of preparation.”

Ansah has four tackles and one sack in 19 snaps this year, and his return should help a Lions tam that’s struggled to get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks despite 23 sacks.

The Lions (3-4) did not announce a starting right defensive end, but Ansah and Romeo Okwara are expected to share snaps at the position.

Backup defensive ends Eric Lee and Kerry Hyder are two of seven inactives for the Lions, along with Jalen Reeves-Maybin (toe/neck), Joe Dahl, Andrew Donnal, Ameer Abdullah and the recently-signed Kelvin Sheppard.

The Vikings (4-3-1) won’t have four key starters in their lineup as wide receiver Stefon Diggs (ribs), guard Tom Compton (knee), linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring) and safety Andrew Sendejo (groin) are inactive.

Cornerback Xavier Rhodes is active for Minnesota despite an ankle injury.

More on today’s game:

Lions vs. Vikings: Scouting report and prediction

Lions recalibrated, ready for Vikings after recent trades

Contact Dave Birkett: Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. Download our Lions Xtra app for free on Apple and Android!