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Snap observations: Lions' Taylor latest to lose time

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

New Orleans — It appears defensive end Devin Taylor is the latest Detroit Lions player subject to coach Jim Caldwell's meritocracy.

Taylor, who has started all 12 games this season despite underwhelming production, has seen his playing time drop four straight weeks. He played a season-low 23 snaps — down from 34 on Thanksgiving — in the team's 28-13 victory over the Saints. That was fewer than Armonty Bryant in his return from a three-game suspension.

Lions defensive end Devin Taylor sacks Saints quarterback Drew Brees with offensive lineman Andrus Peat defending in the fourth quarter.

Taylor managed to snap his streak of five games without a sack against the Saints. Even with steady pressure from the Lions' pass rush, he was the only player to drop quarterback Drew Brees behind the line.

Here are some additional observations from Sunday's snap count report:

• So much for that rotation at left guard. One week after playing 27 snaps, Laken Tomlinson was back to the bench. He played one snap against the Saints, rotating in for Larry Warford late in the game.

• Tight end Matthew Mulligan continues to earn a larger role for his blocking ability. He worked a season-high 30 reps in New Orleans, while fullback Michael Burton was limited to one snap after playing two against Minnesota on Thanksgiving.

• In his season debut, wide receiver TJ Jones was on the field for 23 plays. Andre Roberts played a more significant role replacing an injured Marvin Jones, playing 53 of a possible 70 offensive snaps.

• As expected, with starting linebacker Tahir Whitehead out, rookies Miles Killebrew and Antwione Williams saw bumps in playing time. Killebrew, who snatched his first career interception to end the game, matched a season-high with 21 snaps. Williams, as the No. 2 guy in a depleted linebacking group, played 34.

• Haloti Ngata predictably dominated the defensive tackle rotation, while the four other players active at the position evenly split the remaining snaps. Tyrunn Walker, A'Shawn Robinson, Stefan Charles and Khyri Thornton each played between 13-17 snaps.

• Theo Riddick is clearly still dealing with some lingering ankle issues. The running back played a shade under 50 percent of the team's snaps.

NamePositionOffense%Defense%Special Teams%
Taylor DeckerT70100%  623%
Graham GlasgowC70100%  623%
Travis SwansonC70100%  623%
Riley ReiffT70100%  623%
Matthew StaffordQB70100%    
Larry WarfordG6999%  623%
Golden TateWR6086%    
Anquan BoldinWR5883%    
Eric EbronTE5477%    
Andre RobertsWR5376%  727%
Theo RiddickRB3347%    
Matthew MulliganTE3043%  935%
TJ JonesWR2333%  935%
Dwayne WashingtonRB2333%    
Zach ZennerRB1420%  1662%
Clay HarborTE11%  1454%
Laken TomlinsonG11%  623%
Michael BurtonFB11%  312%
Glover QuinFS  61100%415%
Darius SlayCB  6098%727%
Josh BynesLB  6098%623%
Nevin LawsonCB  5793%1246%
Tavon WilsonSS  5082%28%
Ziggy AnsahDE  4574%  
Haloti NgataDT  4167%415%
Rafael BushSS  4167%312%
Kerry HyderDE  4167%14%
Antwione WilliamsLB  3456%1142%
Armonty BryantDE  2744%  
Devin TaylorDE  2338%14%
Miles KillebrewSS  2134%1973%
Quandre DiggsCB  1830%727%
Tyrunn WalkerDT  1728%28%
Khyri ThorntonDT  1525%312%
Stefan CharlesDT  1423%14%
A'Shawn RobinsonDT  1321%28%
Adairius BarnesCB  1220%1350%
Anthony ZettelDE  1118%415%
Brandon CopelandDE  711%1765%
Thurston ArmbristerLB  47%2077%
Johnson BademosiCB    1662%
Sam MartinP    1662%
Don MuhlbachLS    831%
Matt PraterK    623%
Corey RobinsonT    623%