Lions want to get RB Zenner more touches

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — It took four games and two injuries for the Detroit Lions to get Zach Zenner involved in the offense and the second-year running back made the most of his limited opportunity, paving the way for an increased role going forward.

Zenner, who was inactive the first two games, was on the field for five offensive snaps during the loss the Chicago Bears, but was featured on four of the plays, taking three handoffs and catching a pass out of the backfield.

After being stuffed behind the line of scrimmage following a badly blown blocking assignment on his first carry, Zenner gained 36 yards with his next three touches, including a 22-yard reception and a 10-yard run.

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“It was fun to get the ball in my hands again,” Zenner said. “As a running back, that’s what you want. Every running back wants that. And we had some successful plays. That’s not just me, that’s the offensive line, that’s everyone doing their jobs.”

Zenner declined to say whether he deserves a bigger role. He understands that’s not something within his control. But the man who calls the shots, coach Jim Caldwell, hopes to get the back more touches going forward.

“I think that one of the things we realized is that every time he touches it, he typically makes something positive happen,” Caldwell said.  “He’s a very, very versatile guy. He can catch it and run with it, he’s got good vision. He’s very good just in terms of our special teams, as well. Hopefully, we’ll give him the ball a few more times.”

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @justin_rogers