clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lions-Dolphins snap count observations: D’Andre Swift returns in subdued role

The Detroit Lions returned one of the most explosive playmakers from injury, but he wasn’t quite ready to fully contribute, as was anticipated.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Here’s a closer look at the Detroit Lions’ snap counts from their Week 8 game against the Miami Dolphins, along with some thoughts on what it may mean going forward.



Jared Goff: 60 (100% of offensive snaps)

Running backs

D’Andre Swift: 33 (55%)
Jamaal Williams: 22 (37%)
Craig Reynolds: 5 (8%) — 10 special teams snaps (40%)
Justin Jackson: 0 (0%) — 10 (40%)

Swift’s return to the lineup was thought to be a potential catalyst for offensive explosion, but it appears the Lions are still transitioning him back as he only touched the ball on just 10 snaps, less than a third of his opportunities. His production could have also played a factor in his limited touches—five rushes for six yards, five receptions for 27 yards, and a score—as he knocks the rust off after so much missed time.

Look for Swift’s touches to increase this week against the Packers, but he may still not be fully back to Week 1 health for a bit.

Meanwhile, Williams, who has been the workhorse for the running game, touched the ball on over half of his opportunities, getting the ball 13 times. Reynolds has not looked like the back Lions fans fell in love with last season, and he only had two rushes and one incomplete target.

Tight ends

T.J. Hockenson: 52 (87%)
Brock Wright: 23 (38%) — 11 (44%)
James Mitchell: 5 (8%) — 11 (44%)

Hockenson’s numbers are in line with where they have been all year, Wright’s numbers dipped with a healthier wide receiver group, and Mitchell is still only seeing a few opportunities, but he did record his first reception as a professional athlete against the Dolphins.

Wide receivers

Amon-Ra St. Brown: 57 (95%)
Kalif Raymond: 54 (90%) — 1 (4%)
Josh Reynolds: 48 (80%)
Maurice Alexander: 1 (2%) — 6 (24%)
Stanley Berryhill: 0 (0%) — 9 (36%)
Tom Kennedy: 0 (0%)

St. Brown returned to near full health and there was a domino effect with the snap counts, specifically Kennedy, who went from seeing over half of the snaps in Week 7 to zero in Week 8. Raymond continues to out-snap Reynolds as he works his way back from a knee injury, while Alexander caught a pass for seven yards on his one offensive snap.

Moving forward, Reynolds figures to see more snaps as he returns to full health, but Raymond looks like a fixture in the starting lineup for at least the next three weeks as other wide receivers (Jameson Williams, DJ Chark, and Quintez Cephus) work their way off the reserve lists.

Offensive tackles

Taylor Decker: 60 (100%)
Penei Sewell: 60 (100%) — 5 (20%)
Dan Skipper: 0 (0%) — 5 (20%)

Nothing unusual with the snap counts, though the in-game penalties by Decker and Sewell were surprising. With Matt Nelson unable to play due to injury, and Skipper’s struggles as the sixth offensive lineman in Week 7, the Lions completely scrapped those sets this week.


Frank Ragnow: 60 (100%)
Jonah Jackson: 60 (100%) — 5 (20%)
Evan Brown: 60 (100%) — 5 (20%)
Logan Stenberg: 0 (0%) — 5 (20%)
Kayode Awosika: 0 (0%) — 5 (20%)

The Lions interior offensive line continues to remain healthy and on the field. The tryouts at right guard appear to have concluded, as Brown is settling in nicely.



Josh Paschal: 62 (91%)
Aidan Hutchinson: 58 (85%) — 5 (20%)
Julian Okwara: 22 (32%)
John Cominsky: 12 (18%) — 5 (20%)
Austin Bryant: 11 (16%) — 5 (20%)

Since being activated from the PUP list, Paschal has played 118 defensive snaps and missed just 12. That’s a pretty startling amount of snaps but it speaks to his versatility to play along the defensive line. Hutchinson continues to live in the high 80s, another remarkable amount considering his role and the fact that he is just seven games into his rookie season.

Speaking of specified roles, Okwara is settling in as an interesting chess piece. Since returning from the bye week, he has seen over 20+ snaps each game.

Cominsky is making an impact on his handful of snaps, which figures to increase as he gets healthier, but for now, 12 snaps is a nice number. Bryant has EDGE4 duties while Charles Harris is out, but his role has been very situational.


Isaiah Buggs: 56 (82%)
Alim McNeill: 45 (66%)
Benito Jones: 14 (21%) — 5 (20%)

The Lions continue to roll with just three defensive tackles and they all come off the field on third and medium/long. Buggs playing this much is not ideal, but the Lions don’t have a lot of options at the position after Levi Onwuzurike’s injury and the benching of Michael Brockers.


Alex Anzalone: 66 (97%) — 5 (20%)
Malcolm Rodriguez: 46 (68%) — 3 (12%)
Derrick Barnes: 18 (26%) — 12 (48%)
Chris Board: 4 (6%) — 20 (80%)
Anthony Pittman: 0 (0%) — 20 (80%)
Josh Woods: 0 (0%) — 15 (60%)

Rodriguez’s snaps dropped this week and it’s not entirely clear why. As a result, Anzalone’s numbers went up and after not playing on defense the past few weeks, Board found the field in this game. Rodriguez has his first career sack and first career fumble recovery, but he did have some hiccups in other areas—not uncommon for a rookie starter.


Amani Oruwariye: 68 (100%)
Jeff Okudah: 67 (99%)
Will Harris: 39 (57%) — 17 (68%)
AJ Parker: 23 (34%) — 5 (20%)
Jerry Jacobs: 0 (0%) — 9 (36%)

The Lions deployed Will Harris in a variety of roles on Sunday, and for the most part, he played very well. Oruwariye and Parker struggled, and with the firing of defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant, it’s fair to wonder if another shake-up is coming in the secondary and Harris will be shifted into a starting role. Coach Dan Campbell suggested it is also probably time to get Jacobs back in the mix as well.

“We want to make sure Jerry is ready to go and then let him compete and see where he is,” Campbell said. “We still feel like last week was a step in continuing to get his confidence back, getting his legs under him. And that started with (special) teams, and he got a little bit more in this department. And once we feel like, ‘Okay, he’s right. He can take the load,’ and he competitively is better than one of the other guys, then he’s going to get his chance.”


Kerby Joseph: 68 (100%) — 10 (40%)
JuJu Hughes: 67 (99%) — 5 (20%)
C.J. Moore: 2 (3%) — 20 (80%)

With Tracy Walker on injured reserve and DeShon Elliott and Ifeatu Melifonwu unable to play due to injuries, the Lions were left with only the above three players as options. Joseph has been starting—and improving—since Walker went down, and Hughes got the start over Moore, who had only been back with the team for six days—though he did have a sweet fourth down conversion on a fake punt.

Special teams

Jack Fox: 13 (52%)
Scott Daly: 8 (32%)
Michael Badgley: 5 (20%)

Badgley was signed to the active roster ahead of this game and converted both his field goals. He is now 4-for-4 since joining the Lions.

Pride of Detroit Direct

Sign up now for a 7-day free trial of Pride of Detroit Direct, with exclusive updates from Jeremy Reisman on the ground at Allen Park, instant reactions after each game, and in-depth Lions analysis from film expert Jon Ledyard.