Ziggy Ansah stood with the rest of his defensive linemates as the Detroit Lions returned to practice today simulating snaps by hiking a football on a stick and holding a tackling dummy during drills in which he didn’t participate himself.

Ansah has not practiced since suffering an apparent concussion Aug. 24. Ansah has not practiced since suffering an apparent concussion Aug. 24 and Lions coach Jim Schwartz referred to Wednesday’s injury report when asked about him after practice.

But the fact that he appeared on the field for the first time in nine days is an encouraging sign that he’ll be ready to play in Sunday’s season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

“We’ll get all those guys back as quick as we can” Schwartz said. “I think we’ll be fairly healthy going into the first game about the best we could expect coming out of training camp. But as coaches we’re ready to go any direction if we have to.”

Ansah the No. 5 overall pick in April’s draft was injured when he collided with offensive lineman Leroy Harris in a non-padded practice two days after the Lions’ exhibition win over the New England Patriots.

He missed a few drills that day but finished practice then left during stretching a day later with a towel over his head.

Schwartz said he wasn’t worried the time off would affect Ansah who played just three years of college football and is still in need of extended reps.

“He got a lot of reps early in camp” Schwartz said. “I think all our players need as many reps as they can possibly get so he’s no different than anybody else on the team as far as that goes.”