Tabulating snap counts in pre-season games is a full-time job for spotters, with multiple players getting action on both scrimmage as well as special teams plays. The Detroit Lions used 76 different players in Friday night’s presidential opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
There were a select few healthy lions that did not participate in the exhibition: TE TJ Hokenson, LB Alex Angelone, S CJ Moore and rookie TE James Mitchell. All other players who sat out were inactive in practice with minor injuries or remained in the PUP or NFI list.
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Tom Kennedy led all Lions offensive players with 43 snaps. He clocked 12 passing goals, spending most of his time with QB David Blow, who played 42 snaps. Reserve offensive linemen dominated the rest of the top snap count; Kendall Lam scored 42 while Dan Skipper, Evan Brown, Tommy Kramer and Logan Stenberg all scored 40.
Beginners on the offense ran the opening campaign, 10 plays in total. D’Andre Swift saw six reps at RB while Jamal Williams had four.
In the crowd competing for the tight end spot behind Hawkenson, Brock Wright dominated with 29 snaps. Wright was followed by:
- Devin Funches – 21
- Shane Zilstra – 18
- Derrick Dees Jr. – 18
- Nolan Given – 14
- Garrett Griffin – 13
It will be very interesting to see where those reps fall in the next preseason matchup, possibly with Mitchell entering the mix as he recuperates from a leg injury at Virginia Tech last year. Note that Zilstra played representatives of most special teams from the group (11), while Diez did not appear on special teams.
With the offense, the defensive start appeared in just one drive and a total of 13 plays. Cornerback Will Harris played just seven matches after being dismissed early with a hand injury. This forced Jeff Okuda to field a few extra plays. Okudah logs 18, the same amount as CB Bobby Price and one behind Savian Smith.
LB starts from the first drive by Derrick Barnes and Malcolm Rodriguez. Rodriguez (21 snaps) and Barnes (19) split reps with Anthony Pittman (22), Chris Board (21), Shaun Dion Hamilton (19) and Josh Woods (14).
Jarad Davis played primarily in the off-ball LB in his 26 reps, but also worked in some SAM reps, a pass-rushing role in this defense.
The most reps went to rookie safety Kerby Joseph and running mate JuJu Hughes, who played 43 snaps each. Reserve DT Bruce Hector (34) was the only other defender to have a top 30 rep.
Rookie CB Chase Lucas was on the field for just seven snaps. Mark Gilbert led all Lions defenders with 16 special teams reps to pair with his 22 plays on the D.