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Detroit Lions Week 11 snap counts: Big roles for Josh Reynolds, Austin Bryant vs. Browns

More playing time for young players.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s take a closer look at the Detroit Lions Week 11 snap counts in their 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Offense

Quarterbacks

Tim Boyle: 48 (100%)

Running backs

D’Andre Swift: 35 (73%)
Jamaal Williams: 13 (27%)
Jason Cabinda: 9 (10%) — 19 special teams snaps (86%)
Godwin Igwebuike: 1 (2%) — 17 (77%)

Williams technically got the start in this game, but after some early ineffectiveness from the Lions’ power back, the Lions turned to Swift for nearly the rest of the afternoon. Cabinda managed to get three looks in his nine snaps. After Igwebuike’s impressive performance last week, he managed to only get one offensive snap in this game—and turned it into -4 yards on a failed screen.

Tight ends

T.J. Hockenson: 42 (88%)
Brock Wright: 13 (27%) — 5 (23%)

Detroit didn’t show as many heavy looks on Sunday as they did against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which meant a decreased role for reserve tight end Brock Wright. T.J. Hockenson was at his normal participation rate.

Wide receivers

Josh Reynolds: 43 (90%)
Amon-Ra St. Brown: 41 (85%) — 3 (14%)
Kalif Raymond: 34 (71%) — 5 (23%)
Tom Kennedy: 3 (6%)
KhaDarel Hodge: 2 (4%) — 9 (41%)

The Lions went with three wideouts far more often than normal, but it didn’t result in any spark to the passing game. Of the five receivers listed above, only Amon-Ra St. Brown caught a pass. Speaking of St. Brown, 85 percent of playing time is a career high for him, but it appears plans to move him to the outside have been called off. Per PFF, just three of his 41 offensive snaps were lined up out wide.

Part of the reason why the Lions may have called off that plan is the addition of Josh Reynolds, who appears to have immediately overtaken the WR1 responsibilities. It was obviously an underwhelming Lions debut for Reynolds, who caught zero passes on three targets, had a drop and a drive-killing penalty. That said, he was the only receiver it appeared Boyle was comfortable targeting downfield.

Offensive tackles

Taylor Decker: 48 (100%)
Penei Sewell: 48 (100%) —2 (9%)
Will Holden: 4 (8%) — 2 (9%)

Detroit didn’t go with a third offensive tackle in this game much. Perhaps it was because Matt Nelson was out with an injury. Perhaps that was simply an advantage they saw last week and not this week.

Either way, I think it’s a positive that Detroit was able to still run the ball successfully without going into heavy sets, and perhaps a sign that the Lions running game is for real and not just the result of catching the defense off-guard.

Guards/centers

Jonah Jackson: 48 (100%) — 2 (9%)
Evan Brown: 45 (94%) — 1 (5%)
Tommy Kraemer: 33 (69%) — 2 (9%)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: 15 (31%)
Ryan McCollum: 3 (6%) — 2 (9%)

Evan Brown ended up only missing three snaps after dealing with what appeared to be a neck injury. However, Halapoulivaati Vaitai suffered a concussion and did not return. Tommy Kraemer filled in a right guard and earned himself a respectable 64.1 PFF grade. Given Detroit’s quick turnaround, it may be more of Kraemer on Thursday against the Bears.

Defense

EDGE:

Austin Bryant: 60 (81%) — 1 (5%)
Charles Harris: 55 (74%) — 3 (14%)
Julian Okwara: 37 (50%) — 11 (50%)

With no Trey Flowers, everyone saw a bump in playing time against the Browns. Surprisingly, it was Austin Bryant who played the most, almost never coming off the field on Sunday. 60 defensive snaps is a career-high for Bryant, while Okwara’s 37 snaps matches a career high set last week. Though the play from this unit was up and own, this is valuable experience for a young squad.

It’s also worth pointing out that the Lions’ defense had to take the field for 74 total snaps as compared to just 48 for the Lions offense. That puts into context Detroit’s defensive performance on the final drive of the game. They were gassed.

Defensive tackle

Michael Brockers: 37 (50%)
Nick Williams: 37 (50%)
Alim McNeill: 33 (45%)
Levi Onwuzurike: 30 (41%) — 3 (14%)
John Penisini: 23 (31%) — 4 (18%)
Da’Shawn Hand: 12 (16%) — 2 (9%)

The Lions went with an entirely different defensive strategy than last week, going heavy on interior defenders all game. Whereas the Lions barely used nose tackles last week, McNeill and Penisini combined for 56 snaps on Sunday. Rookie Levi Onwuzurike also saw an uptick in snaps—his 30 is the most in a single game for him.

Unfortunately, after playing 68 snaps last week, Da’Shawn Hand suffered a groin injury and was only on the field a dozen times. It’s unclear if this is the same groin issue that cost him the first half of the season.

Linebackers

Alex Anzalone: 74 (100%) — 3 (14%)
Jalen Reeves-Maybin: 48 (65%) — 9 (41%)
Derrick Barnes: 19 (26%) — 3 (14%)
Anthony Pittman: 0 (0%) — 20 (91%)
Josh Woods: 0 (0%) — 17 (77%)

Not much changes in the rotation. Derrick Barnes is still being brought along slowly as Jalen Reeves-Maybin takes the majority of reps alongside Anzalone.

Cornerbacks

Amani Oruwariye: 74 (100%)
Jerry Jacobs: 66 (89%) — 1 (5%)
AJ Parker: 35 (47%) — 2 (9%)
Bobby Price: 4 (5%) — 17 (77%)
Mark Gilbert: 0 (0%) — 5 (23%)

Despite coming off a groin injury from last week, Jerry Jacobs played nearly the entire game. For AJ Parker, however, was dealing with an ankle injury during the game and missed a significant amount of snaps. That caused a bit of a shakeup at safety, as Will Harris dropped into the nickel in replacement of Parker.

Safety

Tracy Walker: 74 (100%) — 6 (27%)
Will Harris: 69 (93%) — 6 (27%)
Dean Marlowe: 27 (36%) — 5 (23%)
Jalen Elliott: 0 (0%) — 17 (77%)
C.J. Moore: 0 (0%) — 17 (77%)

Walker cleared concussion protocol in practice and was one of three defensive players to never leave the field on Sunday. As I mentioned above, Harris took over the nickelback spot to fill in for Parker, leaving Marlowe a chance to get some playing time at safety.

Special teams

Jack Fox: 8 (36%)
Scott Daly: 8 (36%)
Aldrick Rosas: 5 (23%)

In his Lions debut, Rosas was a perfect 2-for-2 on his kicks and assumed kickoff duties.