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Lions can lean on Ndamukong Suh

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One of Ndamukong Suh's best attributes is that he's almost always on the field for the Detroit Lions.

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

This week's question from Marshall Faulk is about which player leaves everything on the field. For the Detroit Lions, you could go in a number of different directions. You could find the player with the most "heart" and "determination," or you could select somebody who puts his body on the line no matter the circumstances.

Personally, I decided to use this week's question to look at defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh's durability. The fact that it was such big news last week that he finally missed a practice said a lot about how durable he is. And even then, it was an illness that kept him from practicing rather than an injury.

Suh's talent alone makes him a valuable player, but the fact that he is so durable really takes him to another level. He's somebody who can rack up a large number of snaps and still never show up on the injury report with an actual injury, and that's a huge plus considering he plays such a physical position. The only two games he's missed during his career were due to a suspension, and of all the defensive tackles in the NFL this year, only Kansas City's Dontari Poe has played more snaps than Suh, according to Pro Football Focus.

Here's a game-by-game breakdown of how many snaps Suh has played this year:

Week Game Suh snaps Overall snaps Percentage
1 vs. New York Giants 50 60 83%
2 at Carolina Panthers 52 67 78%
3 vs. Green Bay Packers 42 53 79%
4 at New York Jets 50 64 78%
5 vs. Buffalo Bills 55 71 77%
6 at Minnesota Vikings 54 68 79%
7 vs. New Orleans Saints 64 74 86%
8 at Atlanta Falcons 49 60 82%
10 vs. Miami Dolphins 48 61 79%
11 at Arizona Cardinals 56 62 90%
12 at New England Patriots 61 78 78%
13 vs. Chicago Bears 55 64 86%
14 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 52 64 81%
15 vs. Minnesota Vikings 59 69 86%
TOTAL 747 915 82%

For comparison's sake, Nick Fairley played about 100 fewer snaps than Suh during the first seven weeks of the season (i.e. before Fairley got hurt). That's a pretty big difference for only seven games, which further shows just how important Suh is to this defense.

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