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Detroit Lions Week 4 snap counts: Lions lean heavily on rookies vs. Cowboys

We’re only four week into the season, and Detroit’s top four picks are already playing key roles.

Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Here are the snap counts for the Detroit Lions’ Week 4 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Offense:

Quarterbacks

Matthew Stafford: 54 (100%)

Running backs

Theo Riddick: 25 (46%)
Kerryon Johnson: 20 (37%) — 1 special teams snap (4%)
LeGarrette Blount: 14 (26%)
Jamal Agnew: 2 (4%) — 8 (30%)

Fullbacks

Nick Bellore: 4 (7%) — 17 (63%)

Tight ends

Luke Willson: 25 (46%) — 15 (56%)
Levine Toilolo: 19 (35%) — 5 (19%)
Hakeem Valles: 5 (9%)

Wide receivers

Kenny Golladay: 53 (98%)
Marvin Jones Jr.: 50 (93%)
Golden Tate: 42 (78%)
TJ Jones: 11 (20%) — 7 (26%)

Offensive tackles

Taylor Decker: 54 (100%) — 4 (15%)
Rick Wagner: 54 (100%) — 4 (15%)

Guards/centers

Graham Glasgow: 54 (100%) — 4 (15%)
Frank Ragnow: 54 (100%) — 4 (15%)
Kenny Wiggins: 44 (81%) — 3 (11%)
T.J. Lang: 10 (19%)

Observations:

  • One of the bigger storylines after the game was the lack of touches Kerryon Johnson got, splitting carries pretty evenly with LeGarrette Blount. Johnson had nine carries, Blount had seven. However, it was actually Theo Riddick who had the most snaps of the three running backs. That makes a little sense when you consider Detroit had to mostly abandon the run in the second half and Riddick provides both the best pass protection and receiving threat of the group.
  • Nice to see that the Lions finally unleashed Jamal Agnew as an offensive threat. On one snap, he rushed for 17 yards; the other, he played decoy.
  • Kenny Golladay is arguably this teams’ No. 1 receiver right now. He may not be getting the targets, but it’s clear the team doesn’t want him off the field very often. He missed a single offensive snap on Sunday because he can basically do everything, including run blocking.

Defense:

Defensive end

Romeo Okwara: 56 (81%)
Da’Shawn Hand: 48 (70%) — 6 (22%)
Eric Lee: 19 (28%)

Defensive tackle

A’Shawn Robinson: 36 (52%) — 10 (37%)
Sylvester Williams: 33 (48%) — 5 (22%)
Ricky Jean Francois: 22 (32%) — 6 (22%)

Linebackers

Devon Kennard: 69 (100%) — 6 (22%)
Jarrad Davis: 69 (100%) — 6 (22%)
Christian Jones: 52 (75%) — 16 (59%)
Eli Harold: 16 (23%) — 6 (22%)
Jalen Reeves-Maybin: 14 (20%) — 17 (63%)
Marquis Flowers: 0 (0%) — 17 (63%)

Cornerbacks

Nevin Lawson: 68 (99%) — 13 (48%)
Darius Slay: 66 (96%) — 5 (19%)
Quandre Diggs: 43 (62%) — 4 (15%)
Jamal Agnew: 43 (62%) — 8 (30%)
Teez Tabor: 4 (6%) — 15 (56%)
Dee Virgin: 0 (0%) — 11 (41%)

Safety

Glover Quin: 69 (100%) — 6 (22%)
Tracy Walker: 27 (39%) — 11 (41%)
Tavon Wilson: 4 (6%) — 4 (15%)
Miles Killebrew: 1 (1%) — 18 (67%)
Charles Washington: 0 (0%) — 17 (63%)

Observations:

  • The Lions very clearly tried to bulk up this week in a (failed) effort to stop Ezekiel Elliott. Da’Shawn Hand, Eric Lee, A’Shawn Robinson, Sylvester Williams and Ricky Jean Francois all saw a higher percentage of snaps this week. The biggest boost was for Hand, who went from 48 percent of snaps last week to a whopping 70 this week.
  • Also interesting on the front line, A’Shawn Robinson is clearly reclaiming his role as a starter over Ricky Jean Francois. Robinson has been credited with back-to-back starts.
  • Detroit relied heavily on Christian Jones this week, jumping from 50 percent of snaps last week to 75 against the Cowboys.
  • Jamal Agnew, arguably the fastest player on the team, was clearly the Lions’ answer to trying to stop the shifty Cole Beasley. Agnew played 62 percent of defensive snaps (second-highest of his career), but had trouble with Beasley all game.
  • After Tavon Wilson went down in the game early, it was rookie Tracy Walker who took over his role. In his 27 defensive snaps, Walker only had a single tackle, but it was a touchdown-saving tackle on Elliott.
  • Let’s check in on the Lions’ 2018 draft class: Ragnow (100%), Johnson (37%), Walker (39%), Hand (70%). That’s a lot of playing time four weeks into the season.

Special teams

Sam Martin: 13 (48%)
Don Muhlbach: 8 (30%)
Matt Prater: 4 (15%)