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Detroit Lions Week 12 snap counts: Jahmyr Gibbs is taking over

Detroit Lions rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs continues to see a huge share of snaps, even if he is not technically the team’s starter.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions had a letdown game on Thanksgiving against the Green Bay Packers. Let’s take a closer look at their personnel decisions by examining the team’s Week 12 snap counts.

Offense

Quarterbacks

Jared Goff: 84 (100%)
Teddy Bridgewater: N/A

Despite losing, the Lions logged 84 offensive snaps—the second most this season, just a hair behind the Raiders game (86).

Running backs

Jahmyr Gibbs: 60 (71%)
David Montgomery: 23 (27%)
Craig Reynolds: 1 (1%) — 13 special teams snaps (57%)
(FB) Malcolm Rodriguez: 6 (7%) — 16 (70%)

While some of this likely has to do with game situation—the Lions falling behind early and having to somewhat abandon the running game—it’s still quite telling that Jahmyr Gibbs out-snapped David Montgomery almost three-to-one. The rookie has earned the team’s trust in almost every scenario. That said, Montgomery is also still making the most of his opportunities, actually out-rushing Gibbs 71 yards to 54, including the team’s sole rushing touchdown.

Montgomery did suffer an injury toward the end of the game but returned to action. Still, that’s something to monitor early next week.

Also, congrats to Malcolm Rodriguez for his first NFL catch!

Tight ends

Sam LaPorta: 77 (87%)
Brock Wright: 28 (33%) — 10 (43%)
James Mitchell: 4 (5%) — 7 (30%)

No real changes here, as James Mitchell remains mostly a special teams contributor.

Wide receivers

Amon-Ra St. Brown: 77 (92%)
Josh Reynolds: 54 (64%)
Jameson Williams: 53 (63%)
Kalif Raymond: 24 (29%) — 5 (22%)
Donovan Peoples-Jones: 8 (10%)
Antoine Green: INACTIVE

Jameson Williams’ playing time has settled in around the 60-65% mark, as the Lions allowed some more opportunities this week for Kalif Raymond and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Raymond made the most of his, posting 90 yards—his fourth-best total ever. Peoples-Jones, however, did not fetch a single target in his eight snaps. He was also curiously taken off special teams this week. He was on the kick return team last week.

Offensive line

Taylor Decker: 84 (100%)
Graham Glasgow: 84 (100%) — 1 (4%)
Penei Sewell: 84 (100%) — 1 (4%)
Frank Ragnow: 83 (99%)
Kayode Awosika: 53 (63%) — 1 (4%)
Colby Sorsdal: 32 (38%) — 1 (4%)
Dan Skipper: 9 (11%) — 1 (4%)
Michael Schofield: DNP (active)
Jonah Jackson: RULED OUT

Frank Ragnow missed just a snap as he was looked over by trainers for a minute or two before re-entering the game.

More notable, however, was rookie Colby Sorsdal’s short leash. After struggling early in the game, Sorsdal was benched before the end of the first half in favor of Kayode Awosika. Both players ended up with some of the worst PFF grades on the team (Sorsdal: 48.2; Awosika: 30.8), and they collectively gave up 10 of Detroit’s 25 pressures allowed. Come back soon, Jonah Jackson.

In this game, the Lions also employed a sixth offensive lineman (Dan Skipper) far more of than in a typical week.

Defense

EDGE:

Aidan Hutchinson: 53 (95%)
Josh Paschal: 29 (52%) — 1 (4%)
John Cominsky: 23 (41%) — 5 (22%)
Charles Harris: 13 (23%) — 9 (39%)
Romeo Okwara: 8 (14%)
Julian Okwara: INACTIVE (healthy scratch)

With the Lions’ relative health across the roster, the Lions made Julian Okwara a healthy scratch for the first time all season.

Meanwhile, Aidan Hutchinson continues to barely leave the field, while Detroit’s search for an effective rusher opposite him continues. Josh Paschal and John Cominsky continue to get the most opportunities of the group, but both combined for just three pressures in this game. That said, Paschal actually earned the team’s highest defensive PFF grade (78.3) thanks largely to a solid game as a run defender.

The Lions’ bench players aren’t fairing any better in pass rush opportunities. In 17 pass rush snaps, Romeo Okwara and Charles Harris produced just two pressures combined.

DT:

Alim McNeill: 45 (80%) — 6 (26%)
Benito Jones: 22 (39%) — 6 (26%)
Quinton Bohanna: 22 (39%)
Levi Onwuzurike: 7 (12%)
Isaiah Buggs: INACTIVE (healthy scratch)
Brodric Martin: INACTIVE (healthy scratch)

Despite leaving the game to be evaluated for a concussion, Alim McNeill played his highest percentage of defensive snaps all season. The nose tackle reps were split evenly between Benito Jones and Quinton Bohanna, displaying a quick rise in trust in Bohanna—though he actually earned the lowest PFF grade on the Lions’ defense and tallied just a single tackle in the game.

Isaiah Buggs returned to health this week, but he remained inactive, as the Lions clearly prefer both Jones and Bohanna in the lineup. It’s been an odd fall from grace for Buggs after this coaching staff sang his praises all last year.

Linebackers

Alex Anzalone: 54 (96%)
Derrick Barnes: 40 (71%) — 8 (35%)
Jack Campbell: 31 (55%) — 9 (39%)
(LB) Malcolm Rodriguez: 2 (4%) — 16 (70%)
Jalen Reeves-Maybin: 1 (2%) — 21 (91%)
Anthony Pittman: 0 (0%) — 21 (91%)
Trevor Nowaske: INACTIVE (healthy scratch)

Derrick Barnes appears to have jumped Jack Campbell on the depth chart after tallying more snaps than him in two consecutive games now. It’s worth noting that Campbell’s experiment on the EDGE as a pass rusher appears to be mostly over. In the past four games combined, he’s played just 10 snaps on the edge, per PFF.

Cornerbacks

Brian Branch: 56 (100%) — 5 (22%)
Cam Sutton: 56 (100%) — 1 (4%)
Jerry Jacobs: 56 (100%) — 1 (4%)
Will Harris: 0 (0%) — 16 (70%)
Khalil Dorsey: 0 (0%) — 20 (87%)
Chase Lucas: 0 (0%) — 21 (91%)
Steven Gilmore: INACTIVE

No corner left the field on Sunday, as Detroit preferred to stay in a nickel base for almost the entire game. Again, Brian Branch spent his time in a variety of roles. Though mostly the team’s nickel cornerback, he would occasionally drop into the box as a strong safety or even replace Tracy Walker as a deep safety at times.

Safety

Kerby Joseph: 56 (100%) — 5 (22%)
Tracy Walker: 42 (75%) — 5 (22%)
Ifeatu Melifonwu: 0 (0%) — 14 (61%)

Tracy Walker saw plenty more playing time than last week, as the Lions often played two-high safeties in an effort to stop the Packers’ deep ball. Unfortunately, that strategy didn’t work as well as Detroit hoped, as Jordan Love connected on five-of-eight passes at least 15 yards downfield.

via NextGenStats

Special teams

Jack Fox: 7 (30%)
Jake McQuaide: 4 (17%)
Riley Patterson: 2 (9%)

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