Snap observations: Lions lean hard on backups vs. Titans
Detroit — With injuries hitting the Detroit Lions hard during the team's Week 2 loss to the Tennessee Titans, multiple backups were called upon to play significantly increased roles in the contest.
The decimated linebacking corps, which was without DeAndre Levy from the start, and lost Antwione Williams and Kyle Van Noy during the course of the game, needed defensive end Brandon Copeland to play a career-high 34 snaps out of position. Thurston Armbrister, claimed off waivers just days before the start of the regular season, was on the field for only nine defensive snaps, but made three tackles on the Titans' winning drive as the opponent went after the backup.
Along the defensive line, it was Kerry Hyder picking up the slack for Ziggy Ansah, who went down with an ankle injury during the opening series. Hyder played 49 snaps. Only Devin Taylor (52) had a heavier workload among defensive linemen.
And in the backfield, Theo Riddick fell one snap short of his career-high, working 51 plays against the Titans. Ameer Abdullah was limited to 11 snaps after suffering a foot injury in the second quarter.
Here are some additional observations from the snap count report:
• The hard-hitting Tavon Wilson appears to have extended his advantage in the safety rotation. Wilson played 90 percent of the defensive plays. Rafael Bush, who was unable to break up the game-winning touchdown, was on the field for nearly a third of the snaps as the Lions tinker with some three-safety defensive packages.
That took away playing time from nickel corner Quandre Diggs, who was on the field just 34.3 percent of the snaps, his smallest workload since Week 5 last season.
• With rookie Cole Wick sidelined with a shoulder injury, it was Khari Lee who stepped up to fill the backup tight end role behind Eric Ebron. Another recent waiver claim, Lee played 20 snaps, while Orson Charles, active for the contest, was limited to special teams.
• Offensive tackle Corey Robinson continues to work as an extra blocker in goal-line situations, but he also had to fill in at right tackle for four snaps when Riley Reiff briefly exited with an injury.
• Fullback Michael Burton's role has decreased to start the 2016 campaign. He only worked five offensive plays against the Titans, after seven snaps in the season opener. The five matches a career-low for the second-year bruising blocker.
|Kyle Van Noy||LB||37||55%||6||26%|