Rookie Report: Three make big impact

September, 10, 2013
9/10/13
1:00
PM ET
Each week, we’ll take a look at how the Detroit Lions rookies fared in the prior week’s game along with their overall stats and trends for the season.

Detroit had a handful of rookies make an impact during its 34-24 win over Minnesota on Sunday, and had first round pick Ziggy Ansah been healthy, it could have been even more.

In all, three rookies started and five of the eight first-year players on the active roster played on either offense or defense.

Here’s a look at their performance.

DE Ziggy Ansah (first round, BYU): Ansah, who had a concussion during the preseason, didn’t start Sunday but played 26 of 55 defensive snaps (47 percent) and had three tackles and a half-sack. He was also credited with a quarterback hit. He did not play on any special teams.

CB Darius Slay (second round, Mississippi State): Slay started at cornerback opposite Chris Houston and played 31 of 55 snaps (56 percent) before being replaced by veteran Rashean Mathis in the fourth quarter. He made four tackles and had one pass defended. Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said Monday that Slay will remain the starter. Slay also played on 10 special teams plays.

RG Larry Warford (third round, Kentucky): Played every offensive snap, committed one penalty -- a false start -- and was on seven special teams snaps. He was part of a line which didn’t allow Matthew Stafford to be really sacked at all. The one sack credited to Jared Allen was a botched snap.

DE Devin Taylor (fourth round, South Carolina): Taylor was inactive for Sunday’s game.

P Sam Martin (fifth round, Appalachian State): Martin is Detroit’s kickoff specialist, punter and holder. He recorded five touchbacks on kickoffs and averaged 38 yards (36.5 yards net) on four punts. He placed one of his four punts inside the 20-yard-line. He also muffed his first regular season field goal hold.

RB Theo Riddick (sixth round, Notre Dame): Riddick played 19 special teams snaps (58 percent). He played no offensive snaps.

TE Joseph Fauria (undrafted, UCLA): Fauria caught three passes for 27 yards and scored his first career touchdown. He played in 11 of Detroit’s 80 offensive plays (14 percent) and was targeted on three of them. He played no special teams snaps.

OT LaAdrian Waddle (undrafted, Texas Tech): Waddle was inactive for Sunday’s game.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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