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Lions snap counts: Return of Waddle would be big boost

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

The Lions hope right tackle LaAdrian Waddle can return from a calf injury for the Week 4 matchup against the New York Jets, but if he can't play, there might be a new starter at the position.

Undrafted rookie Cornelius Lucas played 40 of the 75 offensive snaps at right tackle in Sunday's 19-7 win over the Green Bay Packers. Veteran Garrett Reynolds, the starter, played just 35.

Reynolds started both games Waddle has missed since suffering the injury in the first quarter in Week 1. In Week 2, Reynolds played 55 of 72 snaps while Lucas played 17. After the game, Lions coach Jim Caldwell said the plan was to rotate the two, though it didn't start until the second half.

On Sunday, however, the Lions started rotating in the first half, and on the final offensive drive, in which they ran out the remaining 6:54, Lucas played the bookend, not Reynolds.

Still, neither Lucas nor Reynolds played particularly well, regularly allowing pressure by Packers edge rushers. Waddle didn't practice at all the last two weeks, but if he can return this week, it would be a big boost for the offense.


Running backs: Reggie Bush 37, Joique Bell 36, Jed Collins 13, Theo Riddick 4.

Analysis: This was the first time Bush played more than Bell in 2014, and he earned the snaps by being more effective throughout the game. Bush had 99 yards on 18 touches, including a 26-yard touchdown run. Bell had 33 yards on 15 touches, all carries.

Cornerbacks: Darius Slay 53 (of 53), Rashean Mathis 53, Danny Gorrer 40, Mohammed Seisay 10, Don Carey 2.

Analysis: Caldwell said the plan was to rotate two guys — Carey and Gorrer — at nickel. After Carey re-aggravated his hamstring injury in the first quarter, the Lions mostly used Gorrer, but gave Seisay a shot, too. Considering he signed last Tuesday, Gorrer played especially well Sunday, and Seisay had two tackles in his first NFL action.

Tight ends: Brandon Pettigrew 49, Joseph Fauria 25, Eric Ebron 23.

Analysis: The Lions used three wide receivers more than expected Sunday with Jeremy Ross playing 49 snaps, and the tight ends contributed minimally on the stat sheet. Fauria caught a 3-yard pass on his two targets. Matthew Stafford had an off-target throw to Ebron, and Pettigrew's only target was an effective throwaway.

Defensive ends: Ezekiel Ansah 31, George Johnson 26, Jason Jones 24, Devin Taylor 15, Darryl Tapp 11.

Analysis: Despite being questionable, Ansah and Johnson played more snaps than their fellow ends. Johnson was once again the most effective player at the position with five tackles, including one for a 4-yard loss on a second-and-1 on the final Green Bay drive.