Lions snap observations: Golladay, Killebrew shine
Detroit — Rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay may not have gotten the start in his debut, but he played significantly more than TJ Jones in the Detroit Lions' three-wide receiver package in the team's win over the Arizona Cardinals, and appears primed to maintain that advantage after a two-touchdown performance.
Golladay was on the field for 44 snaps on Sunday, not far off the average number Anquan Boldin played as Detroit's third receiver last year. In 16 games, Boldin averaged 51 snaps.
Jones picked up the scraps against the Cardinals, with 19 snaps. He made the most of his opportunities, delivering a pair of 16-yard receptions during the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter.
Below are some additional observations from Sunday's snap count report:
* The Lions have long hinted at a bigger role for safety Miles Killebrew, and that came to fruition in the opener. He played 29 defensive snaps, more than he ever played as a rookie last season. He rewarded the Lions with a tackle for a loss, a pass breakup and an interception.
* Also in the defensive backfield, D.J. Hayden outsnapped Nevin Lawson at the second cornerback spot, 41-32.
* With the running back rotation, Ameer Abdullah led the charge, but played just a shade more than 50 percent of the snaps. Theo Riddick was limited to 21 snaps, which isn't too surprising given he's still being eased back in after missing extensive time recovering from a wrist injury. Dwayne Washington's work load was a little higher than some might have expected as the third option in the group. He was on the field 20 offensive plays.
* Eric Ebron and Ziggy Ansah were minimally limited after missing all of training camp. The young tight end worked 51 plays and the potent pass rusher was on the field for 34, a tick under his normal workload.
* Wide receiver Marvin Jones barely left the field, sitting out just three plays. Golden Tate also had a busy day, despite suffering an injured finger. He took 63 of 71 reps.
* The Lions appear to be further minimizing their use of a third linebacker, in part because of Killebrew's emergence. Paul Worrilow, winner of the third linebacker job, played only 12 snaps.