Detroit Lions: 2014 snap counts

As the Detroit Lions got one wave of players back from injury, including receiver Calvin Johnson and tight end Brandon Pettigrew, they also ended up having to mask a whole bunch more.

All the lineup shifting led to some radical changes in snap counts against Miami, which we’ll cover by position here.

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford (67 of 67).

Analysis: Stafford has been the beacon of health this season despite being pressured a bunch Sunday.

Running back: Joique Bell (45 of 67), Reggie Bush (19 of 67), Theo Riddick (7 of 67), fullback Jed Collins (17 of 67).

Analysis: Bell handled the majority of the work for the Lions, although it is unclear if Bush aggravated his ankle again, as he did limp off early in the game and was used sparingly after that. Bell ran hard, though, so he may just be siphoning the job away from Bush as well. Riddick’s usage rate continues to be impressive. Of his seven offensive plays, he had three rushes (for zero yards) and was targeted by Stafford three times, including the game-winning touchdown. When he’s in, the ball is likely headed his way.

Wide receiver: Golden Tate (63 of 67), Calvin Johnson (58 of 67), Jeremy Ross (44 of 67), Corey Fuller (13 of 67).

Analysis: Johnson’s return decimated Fuller’s playing time, as the No. 4 receiver saw his snaps cut by more than half. Johnson said he still thought about the ankle intermittently but that for the most part he felt good. The snap counts would indicate that.

Tight end: Brandon Pettigrew (43 of 67), Kellen Davis (26 of 67).

Analysis: Pettigrew saw most of the work, but Davis played a lot late, in part because of Pettigrew’s still-ailing foot. Pettigrew’s injury continued to open up the Lions to using a lot of three-wide sets, but this should change as Pettigrew and the inactive Joseph Fauria and Eric Ebron return to health.

Offensive tackle: Riley Reiff (67 of 67), LaAdrian Waddle (45 of 67), Cornelius Lucas (22 of 67).

Analysis: Reiff played every snap as usual. Waddle appeared to aggravate his calf -- he missed almost four games with the injury earlier this season -- and Lucas replaced him. Tough day for the rookie, who Pro Football Focus charged with three quarterback hurries and a sack.

Interior line: Dominic Raiola (67 of 67), Rob Sims (67 of 67), Travis Swanson (59 of 67), Larry Warford (8 of 67).

Analysis: Warford’s knee injury changed the dynamic of the line, and rookie Swanson filled in for him almost the entire game. Not a bad debut for Swanson, considering the situation and the strength of Miami’s defensive front. He was called for one penalty and charged with three hurries (but no hits or sacks on Stafford) by PFF.

Defensive line: Ndamukong Suh (48 of 61), Jason Jones (43 of 61), C.J. Mosley (42 of 61), Ezekiel Ansah (36 of 61), George Johnson (29 of 61), Darryl Tapp (15 of 61), Devin Taylor (14 of 61), Andre Fluellen (10 of 61), Caraun Reid (7 of 61).

Analysis: With Nick Fairley out, Jones saw a somewhat large increase in snaps and played both end and tackle as a versatile defensive lineman who ended up being the third tackle in the rotation along with the starting end. Reid’s snaps dropped significantly due to Jones’ play inside and the appearance of Fluellen, who didn’t do much in his limited work. Taylor saw a bit of an increased workload, too, because of Jones’ bouncing inside and out.

Linebacker: DeAndre Levy (61 of 61), Tahir Whitehead (39 of 61), Josh Bynes (20 of 61), Ashlee Palmer (7 of 61), Kyle Van Noy (2 of 61).

Analysis: The number might seem low for Van Noy in his debut, but that might be due to Detroit’s defensive scheme. The Lions rarely played base 4-3 defense, instead going with two nickel situations with Don Carey and Cassius Vaughn. Bynes and Whitehead came closer to splitting time, including Bynes being on the field in a critical fourth-quarter drive.

Cornerback: Rashean Mathis (61 of 61), Darius Slay (61 of 61), Cassius Vaughn (41 of 61), Don Carey (13 of 61).

Analysis: Listing Carey here because his time came as the slot corner. The Lions split two packages here, going with Carey more in the first quarter and then playing a lot more with Vaughn after that. Vaughn seemed to slide into what was Danny Gorrer’s role as the more traditional nickel, although he can also play the bigger nickel.

Safety: Glover Quin (61 of 61), James Ihedigbo (58 of 61), Isa Abdul-Quddus (3 of 61).

Analysis: Ho-hum here. Abdul-Quddus replaced Ihedigbo when he left the game briefly due to injury. That’s it.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Reggie Bush may be listed as the Detroit Lions’ starting running back, but the snaps don’t lie.

Joique Bell is seeing more action.

That’s one of the biggest things to pull from the first two weeks of snap counts, particularly Sunday against Carolina, where Bell had 42 plays compared to Bush’s 29. The more interesting part is Bush’s usage seemed to go down as the game wore on, even as the Lions were shifting from a balanced team to a team needing to pass to score because they fell behind.

And then there’s Bell’s fumble -- offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said he isn’t going to punish a guy for fumbling once or twice as long as it isn’t habit-forming. The fumble didn’t hurt his usage, either. Last week, Bell had five more snaps than Bush.

It always felt like the Bell/Bush combination would be a time-sharing situation anyway, but the way it has broken down so far certainly is an indication that it might be Bell more than Bush as Detroit’s main running back.

Meanwhile, Theo Riddick had just two offensive snaps Sunday as the third back.

Some other snap count thoughts:
  • Garrett Reynolds received the start at right tackle over Cornelius Lucas and played 55 of 72 snaps (76 percent). Lucas came in, mostly late in the game from what I could tell, and played 17 snaps at right tackle. It isn’t clear when LaAdrian Waddle will return from his calf injury, but when he does, he’ll end up right back in the lineup as neither player was overly impressive.
  • The tight end snap count is going to be something to watch. As long as Waddle is out, expect Brandon Pettigrew to get a decent amount of snaps (35 of 72), followed by Joseph Fauria (25 of 72) and Eric Ebron (26 of 72). Fauria is turning into the most complete tight end of the three, mostly due to his massively improved blocking. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Pettigrew’s snaps drop while Fauria’s and Ebron’s rise over the course of the season.
  • George Johnson is starting to emerge as Detroit’s third defensive end. He played 27 of 67 snaps on Sunday, nine more than Devin Taylor (18 of 67) and 13 more than Darryl Tapp (14 of 67). He has had the production to match it. Johnson had another tackle against Carolina.
  • Cassius Vaughn’s snaps are about to go up. With Nevin Lawson out for a while and no other corners on the roster right now, he’s likely to slide into the nickel corner spot that seems to be an injury-prone area right now after Bill Bentley’s ACL tear in Week 1 and Lawson’s dislocated foot Sunday. Cornerback Rashean Mathis, who could also play inside, had confidence in Vaughn and so did the coaches. Even before Lawson’s injury, he was getting some run at the slot corner. It’s almost a guarantee Detroit is making a move for a defensive back again this week. At least one of them.
The Detroit Lions woke up Tuesday morning probably feeling pretty good after a 35-14 win over the New York Giants.

How did it happen?

Here’s a look at how the Lions broke down their snaps on defense on Monday night.


Jason Jones 40 snaps (67 percent); Ezekiel Ansah 39 snaps (65 percent); George Johnson 27 snaps (45 percent); Devin Taylor 21 snaps (35 percent); Darryl Tapp 10 snaps (17 percent).

Analysis: This is somewhat interesting. The Lions are clearly working Ansah back into the lineup a bit, but Johnson played more snaps than Taylor, which signifies he might be the third end. He was also the most productive Detroit defensive end, making three tackles, including 1.5 sacks, in his snaps. Ansah had four quarterback hits on Eli Manning.


Ndamukong Suh 50 snaps (83 percent); Nick Fairley 31 snaps (52 percent); C.J. Mosley 25 snaps (42 percent); Caraun Reid 3 snaps (5 percent).

Analysis: Nothing out of the ordinary here. Suh played a crazy amount of snaps for a defensive tackle and had three tackles. Fairley did well in his snaps. There were times when the Lions played Fairley and Mosley together to give Suh a rest, too.


Stephen Tulloch 60 snaps (100 percent); DeAndre Levy 60 snaps (100 percent); Ashlee Palmer 4 snaps (7 percent); Tahir Whitehead 4 snaps (7 percent).

Analysis: This is what Detroit wants to see. Tulloch and Levy are defensive leaders -- and Levy had a very effective day with 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception. Somewhat intriguing that Whitehead and Palmer split third linebacker reps. That might still be an open competition. Travis Lewis played no linebacker but had 18 special teams snaps and a special teams tackle. This is why he’s on the roster.


Rashean Mathis 58 snaps (97 percent); Darius Slay 57 snaps (95 percent); Nevin Lawson 49 snaps (82 percent); Bill Bentley 3 snaps (5 percent).

Analysis: Mathis and Slay played well for the most part as the starters. Lawson was pretty strong considering the rookie had to jump in and face Victor Cruz when Bentley went out early. Cassius Vaughn played only special teams with 14 snaps. Bentley’s injury, though, is a major concern right now for Detroit.


Isa Abdul-Quddus 57 snaps (95 percent); Glover Quin 55 snaps (92 percent); Jerome Couplin 7 snaps (12 percent)

Analysis: The Lions were short on safeties Monday night against the Giants with James Ihedigbo and Don Carey inactive due to injuries. Couplin did OK in very limited duty as the Giants went right at him early. Same with Abdul-Quddus. Couplin played 16 special teams snaps and Abdul-Quddus eight teams snaps. That is probably the role both will have once Ihedigbo returns.
The Detroit Lions woke up Tuesday morning probably feeling pretty good after a 35-14 win over the New York Giants.

How did it happen?

Here’s a look at how the Lions broke down their snaps on offense on Monday night.


Matthew Stafford 67 snaps (100 percent)

Analysis: The Lions obviously want this all season. More so, they want the performance Stafford had, where he was 22 of 32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). This was the best Stafford has looked in his career.


Joique Bell 35 snaps (52 percent); Reggie Bush 30 snaps (45 percent); Theo Riddick 5 snaps (7 percent).

Analysis: This was about what to expect from Detroit every week. Bell had more snaps -- and appeared to be the primary rusher. At least a third of Bush’s snaps came with him lined up as a wide receiver, indicating his Darren Sproles-esque role in the Lions offense. Riddick saw more time on special teams (18 snaps) than he did as a running back. Until the fourth quarter, though, neither Bell nor Bush were effective.


Jed Collins 17 snaps (25 percent); Montell Owens 1 snap (1 percent).

Analysis: This signifies Collins is going to be the primary blocking back, and Owens is a special teams player with minimum offensive value. Owens had 18 special teams snaps, and Collins only had three. Expect both to be active most weeks, though.


Golden Tate 55 snaps (82 percent); Calvin Johnson 54 snaps (81 percent); Jeremy Ross 35 snaps (52 percent); Corey Fuller 15 snaps (22 percent)

Analysis: One of the biggest takeaways from Monday night was how the Lions used Johnson. He was on the sidelines more than usual in recent memory (when healthy), but that’s part of the plan. Still surprising to see Tate with more snaps than him, though. Detroit kept only four receivers active, and Ross actually picked up the start, too. Fuller filled in on special teams when Bill Bentley hurt his knee (7 snaps), and Ross is a key special teams player (11 snaps).


Brandon Pettigrew 39 snaps (58 percent); Joseph Fauria 29 snaps (43 percent); Eric Ebron 20 snaps (30 percent).

Analysis: Pettigrew played more as a blocking tight end, only seeing one target for a nine-yard catch. Fauria lined up a bunch of places on the field, as did Ebron. Expect to eventually see Ebron’s snaps increase, but a good amount for the rookie in his first game.


Riley Reiff 67 snaps (100 percent); Corey Hilliard 62 snaps (93 percent); LaAdrian Waddle 5 snaps (7 percent).

Analysis: Waddle injured his calf on the first drive and did not return, opening an opportunity for Hilliard to play the rest of the game. It was interesting the Lions kept only three tackles up, and it almost cost Detroit because Hilliard twisted his leg late in the game.


Rob Sims 67 snaps (100 percent); Dominic Raiola 67 snaps (100 percent); Larry Warford 67 snaps (100 percent)

Analysis: Status quo here for Detroit and what it wants to see all season long. Travis Swanson only played special teams, with nine snaps -- including on kick return.
The fourth preseason game is often a chance for players on the roster bubble to make one last case for inclusion on the 53-man roster or practice squad.

And when a player is in that position, special teams is often the best means to make a case.

Here’s a peek and some analysis on special-teams snap counts. Only players who had more than 10 percent of special-teams snaps (and specialists) are noted:

Nevin Lawson 13 snaps (52 percent)
Andrew Peacock 12 snaps (48 percent)
Julian Stanford 12 snaps (48 percent)
Brandon Hepburn 12 snaps (48 percent)
Jordan Thompson 11 snaps (44 percent)
Emil Igwenagu 11 snaps (44 percent)
Sam Martin 11 snaps (44 percent)
Nate Freese 10 snaps (40 percent)
Don Muhlbach 10 snaps (40 percent)
Shamari Benton 10 snaps (40 percent)
Jerome Couplin 10 snaps (40 percent)
George Winn 10 snaps (40 percent)
Isa Abdul-Quddus 9 snaps (36 percent)
Chris Greenwood 7 snaps (28 percent)
Kevin Ogletree 7 snaps (28 percent)
Nate Ness 7 snaps (28 percent)
Ryan Broyles 7 snaps (28 percent)
Mikel Leshoure 6 snaps (24 percent)
George Johnson 6 snaps (24 percent)
Bill Bentley 6 snaps (24 percent)
Rodney Austin 6 snaps (24 percent)
Joseph Fauria 6 snaps (24 percent)
Eric Ebron 6 snaps (24 percent)
Jed Collins 6 snaps (24 percent)
Michael Egnew 6 snaps (24 percent)
Travis Swanson 5 snaps (20 percent)
Travis Lewis 5 snaps (20 percent)
Xavier Proctor 5 snaps (20 percent)
Darren Keyton 5 snaps (20 percent)
Larry Webster 4 snaps (16 percent)
Corey Fuller 4 snaps (16 percent)
Garrett Reynolds 4 snaps (16 percent)
Cornelius Lucas 3 snaps (12 percent)
Theo Riddick 3 snaps (12 percent)
Tahir Whitehead 3 snaps (12 percent)
Ashlee Palmer 3 snaps (12 percent)

Analysis: The top of the special-teams snap chart isn’t shocking here because these are players who needed strong looks on special teams in order to show roster worth. While Lawson was likely getting some experience there for the season, the rest were trying to show something for roster or practice squad spots. Considering starters Whitehead, Riddick and Palmer all had three snaps each, that should say enough about what the Lions were searching for Thursday night. Broyles at punt returner behind Ross, who only took one special-teams snap, was interesting.
The preseason is over and on Thursday night, many Detroit Lions starters did not play a snap against Buffalo.

But many players battling for roster spots did.

Here’s a peek and some analysis on the defensive snap counts:


Larry Webster 29 snaps (48 percent); Darryl Tapp 25 snaps (42 percent); George Johnson 23 snaps (38 percent); Devin Taylor 23 snaps (38 percent); Ezekiel Ansah 15 snaps (25 percent).

Analysis: The Lions are still trying to get Webster as much experience as possible to try and work him into a rotation player as soon as possible. Nothing else to really read into here.


Xavier Proctor 29 snaps (48 percent); Jimmy Saddler-McQueen 29 snaps (48 percent); C.J. Mosley 21 snaps (35 percent); Andre Fluellen 20 snaps (33 percent); Nick Fairley 13 snaps (22 percent); Caraun Reid 13 snaps (22 percent).

Analysis: This went about as expected other than Reid, who appeared to have some sort of injury in the game. But Proctor and Saddler-McQueen are players Detroit wanted to get one last look at, perhaps for practice squad decisions.


Tahir Whitehead 28 snaps (47 percent); Travis Lewis 26 snaps (43 percent); Julian Stanford 25 snaps (42 percent); Brandon Hepburn 23 snaps (38 percent); DeAndre Levy 7 snaps (12 percent); Stephen Tulloch 7 snaps (12 percent); Shamari Benton 2 snaps (3 percent).

Analysis: With Kyle Van Noy out, the Lions played Whitehead probably more than they would have liked. Lewis needed to continue to show linebacker skills. That Benton played fewer snaps than the starters is not a good sign for his roster chances.


Chris Greenwood 40 snaps (67 percent); Nevin Lawson 31 snaps (52 percent); Cassius Vaughn 29 snaps (48 percent); Mohammed Seisay 25 snaps (42 percent); Bill Bentley 21 snaps (35 percent); Darius Slay 15 snaps (25 percent).

Analysis: Rashean Mathis didn’t play and Slay didn’t need to do much, especially once Sammy Watkins left the game. The Lions needed to play Greenwood a lot since he is on the roster bubble and likely wanted to give Lawson as many snaps as possible. Seisay’s 25 snaps feel like an attempt to hide a good player for practice squad purposes.


Jerome Couplin 45 snaps (75 percent); Isa Abdul-Quddus 40 snaps (67 percent); Nate Ness 25 snaps (42 percent); Glover Quin 10 snaps (17 percent).

Analysis: With Don Carey and James Ihedigbo not traveling, there were a lot of snaps for Couplin, Abdul-Quddus and Ness to have one last chance to impress. Couplin again showed up a lot of places and seems to be close to a roster spot. Abdul-Quddus intercepted another pass. With Carey and Ihedigbo’s status unknown, he’s almost a lock for the roster at this point.
The preseason is over and on Thursday night, many Detroit Lions starters did not play a snap against Buffalo.

But many players battling for roster spots did.

Here’s a peek and some analysis on the offensive snap counts:


Kellen Moore 56 snaps (77 percent); Dan Orlovsky 17 snaps (23 percent)

Analysis: Moore was going to get the majority of snaps in Buffalo. Orlovsky remains the No. 2 quarterback as Moore waits to find out if he has a roster spot or has to go through waivers. Moore had a strong preseason, though, and will give coaches something to think about.


George Winn 31 snaps (42 percent); Mikel Leshoure 26 snaps (36 percent); Theo Riddick 18 snaps (25 percent).

Analysis: Reggie Bush and Joique Bell didn’t play. Riddick didn’t see much time as the third back. This was a final audition for both Winn and Leshoure, and neither one stood out. Winn had the most carries for the second straight game and should be ahead of Leshoure on a roster spot fight if the team keeps either one.


Emil Igwenagu 22 snaps (30 percent); Jed Collins 5 snaps (7 percent)

Analysis: Montell Owens didn’t play, probably meaning he’s on the roster. Jim Caldwell said he wanted to take a long look at Igwenagu and he got it, although not sure how much he really saw.


Ryan Broyles 36 snaps (49 percent); Jeremy Ross 26 snaps (36 percent); Andrew Peacock 23 snaps (32 percent); Kris Durham 23 snaps (32 percent); Kevin Ogletree 23 snaps (32 percent); Patrick Edwards 23 snaps (32 percent); Corey Fuller 20 snaps (27 percent).

Analysis: No need for Calvin Johnson or Golden Tate to play. That Broyles was in the game so late was somewhat curious -- and leads to some question about his potential roster spot. That said, I have Broyles on my final projection. Fuller receiving the least amount of snaps again leads me to think the team might be trying to hide him for the practice squad.


Jordan Thompson 27 snaps (37 percent); Joseph Fauria 22 snaps (30 percent); Eric Ebron 21 snaps (29 percent); Michael Egnew 20 snaps (27 percent).

Analysis: Nothing to read into here, although the team took a look at Egnew. Still don’t think he fits anywhere on the roster.


Cornelius Lucas 56 snaps (77 percent); Michael Williams 56 snaps (77 percent); LaAdrian Waddle 17 snaps (23 percent); Corey Hilliard 10 snaps (14 percent); Riley Reiff 7 snaps (10 percent).

Analysis: Waddle received the start and it is still unclear who wins that right tackle between him and Hilliard. That Lucas and Williams received the same number of snaps, to me, means that’s still a really tight competition for the fourth tackle spot. Could be close to a 50-50 decision there.


Rodney Austin 66 snaps (90 percent); Travis Swanson 57 snaps (78 percent); Darren Keyton 55 snaps (75 percent); Garrett Reynolds 33 snaps (45 percent); Larry Warford 7 snaps (10 percent).

Analysis: Dominic Raiola and Rob Sims sat with no real reason to play. Warford played sparingly as the Lions needed to get some work for reserves. Reynolds getting the start was curious to me. That Austin played so much Thursday night makes me wonder if he is more on the roster bubble than previously thought, with both Keyton and Reynolds pushing him.
The third preseason game is often considered the closest to resembling the regular season NFL teams will come to until contests actually start in September.

With the starters playing into the second half in most cases, snap counts can also give an indication of who is still fighting for a roster spot, who has one wrapped up and who might have played their last game as a Lion against Jacksonville on Friday.

Here’s a peek and some analysis on special-teams snap counts. Only players who had more than 10 percent of special-teams snaps (and specialists) are noted:

Ashlee Palmer 14 snaps (70 percent); Travis Lewis 13 snaps (65 percent); Tahir Whitehead 11 snaps (55 percent); Isa Abdul-Quddus 9 snaps (45 percent); George Winn 9 snaps (45 percent); Theo Riddick 8 snaps (40 percent); Don Carey 8 snaps (40 percent); Eric Ebron 7 snaps (35 percent); George Johnson 7 snaps (35 percent); Joseph Fauria 6 snaps (30 percent); Jeremy Ross 6 snaps (30 percent); Bill Bentley 6 snaps (30 percent); Nevin Lawson 6 snaps (30 percent); Don Muhlbach 6 snaps (30 percent); Sam Martin 5 snaps (25 percent); Travis Swanson 5 snaps (25 percent); Darius Slay 5 snaps (25 percent); Cassius Vaughn 5 snaps (25 percent); Rodney Austin 4 snaps (20 percent); Kevin Ogletree 4 snaps (20 percent); Jed Collins 4 snaps (20 percent); Kris Durham 4 snaps (20 percent); Jerome Couplin 4 snaps (20 percent); Julian Stanford 4 snaps (20 percent); Montell Owens 4 snaps (20 percent); Brandon Hepburn 3 snaps (15 percent); Devin Taylor 3 snaps 15 percent); Chad Abram 3 snaps (15 percent); Jordan Thompson 2 snaps (10 percent); Jacob Maxwell 2 snaps (10 percent); Andrew Peacock 2 snaps (10 percent); DeAndre Levy 2 snaps (10 percent); Glover Quin 2 snaps (10 percent); Stephen Tulloch 2 snaps (10 percent); Rashean Mathis 2 snaps (10 percent); Ndamukong Suh 2 snaps (10 percent); Jason Jones 2 snaps (10 percent); C.J. Mosley 2 snaps (10 percent); Giorgio Tavecchio 2 snaps (10 percent); Drew Butler 2 snaps (10 percent); Steven Miller 2 snaps (10 percent); Nate Freese 2 snaps (10 percent).

Analysis: Massive amount of snaps for Palmer and Lewis, both of whom were reserve linebackers Friday night. They are both core special-teams players, so it might be how both end up on the roster. Good sign for Abdul-Quddus as well that he played nine snaps. Neither kicker got many opportunities -- Freese on an extra point and Tavecchio on a missed 51-yard field goal. That George Johnson can play special teams as well could really help his case to make the team. Same with George Winn over Mikel Leshoure if it is close. Right now, though, both Winn and Leshoure seem to be fighting for a roster spot that may not be there.
The third preseason game is often considered the closest to resembling the regular season NFL teams will come to until contests actually start in September.

With the starters playing into the second half in most cases, snap counts can also give an indication of who is still fighting for a roster spot, who has one wrapped up and who might have played their last game as a Lion against Jacksonville on Friday.

Here’s a peek and some analysis on the defensive snap counts:


Devin Taylor 29 snaps (38 percent); George Johnson 28 snaps (37 percent); Jason Jones 25 snaps (33 percent); Darryl Tapp 23 snaps (30 percent); Larry Webster 17 snaps (22 percent); Kris Redding 16 snaps (21 percent); Ezekiel Ansah 11 snaps (14 percent).

Analysis: Ansah got about what he should have snap-wise, as he returns from shoulder surgery. Saw some action, mostly in pass-rush situations, but not as a three-down end yet. Johnson played particularly well and received a long, long look. His play in games the past two weeks has put him in good position. Webster’s snaps came late in the game, but when he was in, he placed good pressure on quarterbacks.


Ndamukong Suh 29 snaps (38 percent); Caraun Reid 22 snaps (29 percent); C.J. Mosley 20 snaps (26 percent); Xavier Proctor 19 snaps (25 percent); Jimmy Saddler-McQueen 18 snaps (24 percent); Nick Fairley 16 snaps (21 percent); Greg Hickman 16 snaps (21 percent); Andre Fluellen 15 snaps (20 percent).

Analysis: Suh got his starter’s reps and played well, as usual. Mosley and Fairley essentially split snaps with the first unit, while also rotating some for Suh. Fluellen’s snaps came both at end and at tackle, but against third-stringers. The Lions continue to work Reid in as they have to get him ready as the team’s likely fourth tackle.


Tahir Whitehead 41 snaps (54 percent); DeAndre Levy 41 snaps (54 percent); Stephen Tulloch 41 snaps (54 percent); Travis Lewis 25 snaps (33 percent); Ashlee Palmer 22 snaps (29 percent); Julian Stanford 11 snaps (14 percent); Brandon Hepburn 10 snaps (13 percent); Shamari Benton 2 snaps (3 percent).

Analysis: Whitehead played almost the entire game and was very effective in his start at SAM linebacker with 10 tackles and three sacks. He proved, at worst, that he is a flexible linebacker who can play a fourth backer role if needed. Kyle Van Noy missed the game due to injury and both Palmer and Lewis received a lot of second team snaps. But Whitehead stood out throughout the night. Massive game from him.


Darius Slay 41 snaps (54 percent): Rashean Mathis 37 snaps (49 percent); Chris Greenwood 24 snaps (32 percent); Bill Bentley 21 snaps (28 percent); Cassius Vaughn 19 snaps (25 percent); Aaron Hester 19 snaps (25 percent); Nevin Lawson 16 snaps (21 percent); Jonte Green 10 snaps (13 percent).

Analysis: Greenwood’s snaps continue to be consistent on the second team as the fourth outside corner behind Slay, Mathis and Vaughn. He was beat badly for a touchdown, though. Hester saw second team snaps, too, and Green played with the deep reserves like against Oakland, but came away with an interception. Not a great sign for Mohammed Seisay, as he received only one rep -- and it was on special teams.


Isa Abdul-Quddus 41 snaps (54 percent); Glover Quin 41 snaps (54 percent); Jerome Couplin 35 snaps (46 percent); Nate Ness 35 snaps (46 percent).

Analysis: The Lions didn’t have their usual safety depth with starter James Ihedigbo sitting for rest, DeJon Gomes out with a neck injury and reserve Don Carey suffering a hamstring injury and missing a chunk of the game. Abdul-Quddus did well in Ihedigbo’s place and might have increased his standing for a roster spot. Couplin also did fairly well, but picked up a personal foul.
The third preseason game is often considered the final dry run for starters before the regular season starts in September.

With the first team playing into the second half in most cases, snap counts can also give an indication of who is still fighting for a roster spot, who has one wrapped up and who might have played their last game as a Lion against Jacksonville on Friday.

Here's a peek and some analysis on the offensive snap counts:


Matthew Stafford 33 snaps (53 percent); Dan Orlovsky 21 snaps (34 percent); Kellen Moore 8 snaps (13 percent).

Analysis: This is what was expected during the third preseason game. Unless Stafford makes a very, very brief cameo against Buffalo, he's done until the regular season. Orlovsky could play some against the Bills, but it will probably be the Moore show as he fights for a roster spot. If James Franklin survives this week's cuts, he could finally see snaps, too.


George Winn 17 snaps (27 percent); Mikel Leshoure 16 snaps (26 percent); Theo Riddick 15 snaps (24 percent); Joique Bell 13 snaps (21 percent); Reggie Bush 5 snaps (8 percent).

Analysis: Bush didn't need any more work after his 86-yard touchdown run and there is enough competition for spots behind him that the Lions wanted to give both Winn and Leshoure a lot of work. Both fumbled and neither separated themselves. Steven Miller had no running back snaps according to the box score, so that probably doesn't bode well for his future with the Lions.


Jed Collins 10 snaps (16 percent); Chad Abram 10 snaps (16 percent).

Analysis: Montell Owens would have received some snaps here, but he missed almost all of the game with a head injury suffered on special teams. Some decent exposure for Abram, who likely remains a practice squad candidate.


Golden Tate 25 snaps (40 percent); Jeremy Ross 20 snaps (32 percent); Calvin Johnson 20 snaps (32 percent); Patrick Edwards 17 snaps (27 percent); Ryan Broyles 16 snaps (26 percent); Corey Fuller 15 snaps (24 percent); Kevin Ogletree 11 snaps (18 percent); Kris Durham 9 snaps (15 percent); Andrew Peacock 6 snaps (10 percent); Conner Vernon 1 snap (2 percent).

Analysis: The tightest position battle on the Lions saw a bunch of guys see about equal snaps. Johnson got his preseason work in and he'll likely next appear in the regular season opener. Broyles and Edwards took snaps with reserves. Wouldn't read a ton into Ogletree or Durham's snaps as they all came with the first team. The Lions gave Ross some run throughout the game as they probably tried to see how he could fare in a receiver role along with his established returner spot.


Joseph Fauria 26 snaps (42 percent); Eric Ebron 17 snaps (27 percent); Brandon Pettigrew 15 snaps (24 percent); Jordan Thompson 13 snaps (21 percent); Jacob Maxwell 13 snaps (21 percent).

Analysis: Fauria can play both inside and outside so he continues to receive a good chunk of tight end snaps. The Lions didn't need to run the veteran Pettigrew out too much and Ebron saw time throughout the game as well. All three should be ready to go for the season.


Riley Reiff 33 snaps (53 percent); Corey Hilliard 30 snaps (48 percent); Michael Williams 27 snaps (44 percent); LaAdrian Waddle 17 snaps (27 percent); Cornelius Lucas 17 snaps (27 percent); Bryce Quigley 8 snaps (13 percent).

Analysis: Reiff and Hilliard saw starter's snaps, although Waddle played with the first team in the second half as he and Hilliard continue to compete for the starting right tackle spot. The more interesting development continues to be Williams, who played left tackle with the second unit and right tackle with the third unit for a while. That he has emergency tight end capabilities as well makes him somewhat intriguing as a roster option over Lucas, who ran almost exclusively with the third team.


Rob Sims 33 snaps (53 percent); Larry Warford 33 snaps (53 percent); Dominic Raiola 33 snaps (53 percent); Travis Swanson 21 snaps (34 percent); Rodney Austin 21 snaps (34 percent); Darren Keyton 17 snaps (27 percent); Garrett Reynolds 12 snaps (19 percent); A.J. Dalton 8 snaps (13 percent).

Analysis: Sims, Warford and Raiola played with the first team, as expected. Swanson and Austin were second-team fixtures and appear to be the leaders for reserve linemen spots. Reynolds played with the second team for the most part as well, but appears behind both Austin and Swanson for a roster spot.
Training camp has concluded, first cuts are a week away and things are starting to shake out -- or get more interesting -- at certain position battles for the Detroit Lions.

Sometimes, snap counts can give a clue where a team is leaning, or at least who is receiving an extended look. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of Detroit’s special-teams snaps Friday night against Oakland.

This will only include players who received more than 10 percent of special-teams snaps.

Don Carey, 17 snaps (55 percent); DeJon Gomes, 17 snaps (55 percent); Travis Lewis, 15 snaps (48 percent); Ashlee Palmer, 13 snaps (42 percent); Tahir Whitehead, 13 snaps (42 percent); Julian Stanford, 12 snaps (39 percent); George Johnson, 11 snaps (35 percent); Travis Swanson, 10 snaps (32 percent); George Winn, 10 snaps (32 percent); Rodney Austin, 9 snaps (29 percent); Don Muhlbach, 9 snaps (29 percent); Eric Ebron, 8 snaps (26 percent); Montell Owens, 8 snaps (26 percent); Kyle Van Noy, 8 snaps (26 percent); Chad Abram, 7 snaps (23 percent); Nate Freese, 7 snaps (23 percent); Aaron Hester, 7 snaps (23 percent); Nevin Lawson, 7 snaps (23 percent); Joseph Fauria, 6 snaps (19 percent); Brandon Hepburn, 6 snaps (19 percent); Sam Martin, 6 snaps (19 percent); Bill Bentley, 6 snaps (19 percent); Jed Collins, 5 snaps (16 percent); Drew Butler, 5 snaps (16 percent); Jeremy Ross, 4 snaps (13 percent); Corey Hilliard, 4 snaps (13 percent); Mohammed Seisay, 4 snaps (13 percent); Larry Webster, 4 snaps (13 percent); Cassius Vaughn, 4 snaps (13 percent); Giorgio Tavecchio, 4 snaps (13 percent).

Analysis: As mentioned in the offensive counts, this was the day of looking at Winn, who had double-digit special-teams snaps and made two tackles on special teams. That bodes well for him really making a run at the roster. Johnson playing on some teams also could bode well for him making the roster in addition to as a reserve defensive end. There were not many other surprises among the special-teams snap counts since the Lions are going to rotate a lot of players through to see who is effective there and who is not.
Training camp has concluded, first cuts are a week away and things are starting to shake out -- or get more interesting -- at certain position battles for the Detroit Lions.

Sometimes, snap counts can give a clue where a team is leaning or at least who is receiving an extended look. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of Detroit’s defensive snaps from Friday night.


George Johnson 29 snaps (36 percent); Larry Webster 28 snaps (35 percent); Devin Taylor 25 snaps (31 percent); Jason Jones 21 snaps (26 percent); Darryl Tapp 19 snaps (24 percent); Kris Redding 6 snaps (8 percent).

Analysis: Johnson got the start and a nice, long look with the first unit. He performed well and was in the backfield a decent amount early on. Webster will continue to receive a lot of snaps as he’s improving at a massive rate and continues to learn throughout the preseason. Some of Jones’ snaps came inside at tackle. Redding’s numbers don’t bode well for him being around much longer.


Caraun Reid 29 snaps (36 percent); Xavier Proctor 25 snaps (31 percent); Jimmy Saddler-McQueen 25 snaps (31 percent); Ndamukong Suh 24 snaps (30 percent); Andre Fluellen 22 snaps (28 percent); C.J. Mosley 20 snaps (25 percent); Greg Hickman 19 snaps (24 percent); Nick Fairley 15 snaps (19 percent).

Analysis: Like Webster, Reid is going to play a lot since he’ll expected to be part of the rotation this fall. That Fairley played fewer snaps than any defensive tackle is interesting because it might show his lack of conditioning, and there might be a message being sent. He was also splitting snaps with Mosley on the first unit and Reid on the second team.


Kyle Van Noy 35 snaps (44 percent); Ashlee Palmer 28 snaps (35 percent); Julian Stanford 28 snaps (35 percent); Stephen Tulloch 28 snaps (35 percent); DeAndre Levy 28 snaps (35 percent); Tahir Whitehead 26 snaps (32 percent); Brandon Hepburn 26 snaps (32 percent); Travis Lewis 20 snaps (25 percent); Justin Jackson 10 snaps (12 percent).

Analysis: Van Noy and Palmer continue to compete for a starting spot so they’ll receive a lot of attention. Jackson got 10 snaps on Friday and was cut Saturday. That Stanford received more snaps than Lewis could be a sign he has passed him on the linebacker depth chart, especially since both players are reserves.


Rashean Mathis 28 snaps (35 percent); Jonte Green 26 snaps (32 percent); Nevin Lawson 23 snaps (29 percent); Darius Slay 23 snaps (29 percent); Cassius Vaughn 15 snaps (19 percent); Drayton Florence 14 snaps (18 percent); Aaron Hester 12 snaps (15 percent); Chris Greenwood 12 snaps (15 percent); Bill Bentley 7 snaps (9 percent).

Analysis: Bentley’s lack of snaps came because of his role in the nickel so there shouldn’t be much more to be read into there. Green was getting a long look this week -- much like Greenwood the week before. Florence played a bit this week, but he was a veteran with the extreme backups. At this point, it might be Green, Greenwood and Florence for one roster spot.


James Ihedigbo 28 snaps (35 percent); Glover Quin 26 snaps (32 percent); Nate Ness 26 snaps (32 percent); Don Carey 21 snaps (26 percent); Isa Abdul-Quddus 21 snaps (26 percent); Jerome Couplin 21 snaps (26 percent); DeJon Gomes 15 snaps (19 percent).

Analysis: Tough to read into the safety situation at this point behind Ihedigbo and Quin. Carey, Abdul-Quddus, Gomes and Couplin appear to be competing for two spots -- and three of them played equal snaps. Gomes may have as well, but he was hurt during the game, so that hurt his snap counts. Other than receiver, who the Lions keep here might be the toughest thing to call.
Training camp has concluded, first cuts are a week away and things are starting to shake out -- or get more interesting -- at certain position battles for the Detroit Lions.

Sometimes, snap counts can give a clue where a team is leaning, or at least who is receiving an extended look. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of Detroit’s offensive snaps Friday night against Oakland.


Dan Orlovsky, 23 snaps (39 percent); Kellen Moore, 19 snaps (32 percent); Matthew Stafford, 17 snaps (29 percent).

Analysis: Orlovsky played much better in the second preseason game than the first, all but locking up his spot as the No. 2 quarterback. Stafford played enough to show he is making progress with the new offense instituted by Joe Lombardi, as he went 9 of 10 with his only incomplete pass being a potential drop. Once again, James Franklin saw no snaps and it’ll be interesting to see if he is among the first wave of cuts next week.


George Winn, 16 snaps (27 percent); Mikel Leshoure, 13 snaps (22 percent); Reggie Bush, 10 snaps (17 percent); Joique Bell, 8 snaps (14 percent); Theo Riddick, 7 snaps (12 percent); Steven Miller, 4 snaps (7 percent).

Analysis: The Lions really wanted to give Winn a look here, as he is one of the undrafted free agent who could end up swiping a roster spot. He once again ran hard when he was given the ball, and although he had a drop as a receiver, he played well once again. The player whose spot he could steal? Leshoure, who once again didn’t look all that explosive. Everyone else’s snaps made sense.


Jed Collins, 8 snaps (14 percent); Chad Abram, 7 snaps (12 percent); Montell Owens, 6 snaps (10 percent).

Analysis: Not much to read into here. The fullback decision will likely be made as much by who the team keeps at running back and special-teams value as anything the fullback can bring. Abram remains a strong practice squad candidate.


Patrick Edwards, 24 snaps (41 percent); Jeremy Ross, 21 snaps (36 percent); Corey Fuller, 18 snaps (31 percent); Golden Tate, 17 snaps (29 percent); Andrew Peacock, 16 snaps (27 percent); Kris Durham, 15 snaps (25 percent); Ryan Broyles, 15 snaps (25 percent); Kevin Ogletree, 13 snaps (22 percent); Conner Vernon, 8 snaps (14 percent).

Analysis: One of the tightest competitions for roster spots received no more clarity after Friday night. Ross’ snaps probably indicate the team is still trying to get a true feel for how much he can be a receiving threat along with being the Lions’ primary returner. Ogletree’s snaps came with the first unit, as did Durham’s. Based off the past two weeks, the Lions have likely seen enough from Broyles to feel good about him as well.


Joseph Fauria, 22 snaps (37 percent); Eric Ebron, 14 snaps (24 percent); Jordan Thompson, 12 snaps (20 percent); Jacob Maxwell, 11 snaps (19 percent); Brandon Pettigrew, 10 snaps (17 percent).

Analysis: Fauria saw so many snaps because he continues to play both tight end slots and it’s a good way for him to continue to polish his blocking. Plus, the Lions just don’t have a lot of tight ends. Ebron didn’t see a ton of action and caught both passes thrown at him.


Corey Hilliard, 23 snaps (39 percent); LaAdrian Waddle, 20 snaps (34 percent); Riley Reiff, 20 snaps (34 percent); Michael Williams, 20 snaps (34 percent); Cornelius Lucas, 19 snaps (32 percent); Bryce Quigley, 16 snaps (27 percent).

Analysis: One of the bigger surprises was Williams receiving a bunch of second-team snaps at tackle over Lucas. Williams is still transitioning from tight end to tackle -- he’s still listed as a tight end in the official snap counts -- and the Lions clearly wanted to get an idea of his progress against Oakland. There appear to be two battles here: Hilliard and Waddle at right tackle along with Williams and Lucas for the team’s fourth tackle.


Travis Swanson, 42 snaps (71 percent); Rodney Austin, 28 snaps (47 percent); Garrett Reynolds, 24 snaps (41 percent); Darren Keyton, 23 snaps (39 percent); Larry Warford, 20 snaps (34 percent); Rob Sims, 17 snaps (29 percent); Dominic Raiola, 17 snaps (29 percent); Alex Bullard, 3 snaps (5 percent); A.J. Dalton, 3 snaps (5 percent).

Analysis: Detroit continued to give Swanson as much work as possible, both at guard and center, so he has some experience in case of injury to Raiola, Sims or Warford. The Lions will likely keep one of Austin, Reynolds and Keyton along with Swanson, who won’t be cut, to be interior linemen. Keyton has practice squad eligibility, as do Bullard and Dalton.
It is still relatively early in the preseason and, like many teams, the Detroit Lions are going to spread out their snaps among a whole bunch of players in order to get an idea of what they have and what they might still need.

But sometimes, snap counts can give an idea of who needs some work or who is getting a longer look from the coaching staff. Here's a look at special teams snaps from Saturday night -- often an indicator of players of who might fill out the back end of the roster.

These are only the players who had more than 10 percent of special teams snaps:

Travis Lewis, 13 snaps (50 percent); DeJon Gomes, 13 snaps (50 percent); Isa Abdul-Quddus, 12 snaps (46 percent); Chad Abram, 10 snaps (38 percent); Tahir Whitehead, 10 snaps (38 percent); Ashlee Palmer, 10 snaps (38 percent); Julian Stanford, 9 snaps (35 percent); Nevin Lawson, 9 snaps (35 percent); George Johnson, 9 snaps (35 percent); Brandon Hepburn, 8 snaps (31 percent); Caraun Reid, 8 snaps (31 percent); Kyle Van Noy, 8 snaps (31 percent); Corey Fuller, 8 snaps (31 percent); Travis Swanson, 8 snaps (31 percent); Montell Owens, 8 snaps (31 percent); Don Muhlbach, 8 snaps (31 percent); Jerome Couplin, 7 snaps (27 percent); Jed Collins, 6 snaps (23 percent); Steven Miller, 6 snaps (23 percent); Bill Bentley, 6 snaps (23 percent); Don Carey, 5 snaps (19 percent); Joseph Fauria, 5 snaps (19 percent); Mikel Leshoure, 5 snaps (19 percent); Jeremy Ross, 5 snaps (19 percent); Jordan Thompson, 5 snaps (19 percent); Chris Greenwood, 5 snaps (19 percent); Cassius Vaughn, 5 snaps (19 percent); Sam Martin, 5 snaps (19 percent); Nate Freese, 4 snaps (15 percent); Eric Ebron, 4 snaps (15 percent); Larry Webster, 4 snaps (15 percent); Justin Jackson, 4 snaps (15 percent); Giorgio Tavecchio, 3 snaps (12 percent); Drew Butler, 3 snaps (12 percent); Kris Durham, 3 snaps (12 percent); Theo Riddick, 3 snaps (12 percent); Darius Slay, 3 snaps (12 percent); Darryl Tapp, 3 snaps (12 percent).

Analysis: Without some context, it is tough to read into these numbers -- so let’s provide some. Lewis ran first team on both kickoff and kick return and, really, hanging onto those reps will be the only way he makes the roster. He had one solo and one assisted tackle in his 13 snaps. Gomes also ran on the first team on kickoff and kick return as well as punt return. Abdul-Quddus was not on first-team kickoff or kick return -- he was almost definitely on second team -- but was one of the outside protectors on punt return along with Carey, who is a four-part special teamer.

Palmer ran on the first-team kickoff and kick return -- a spot he’s probably running on throughout the season. Same with Whitehead and Owens, should Owens make the team. Part of Swanson and Reid’s snaps came as two of the blocking up-men in kick return. They have worked there together all of training camp.

Ross is the team’s kick and punt returner, something accentuated again by his opening kick return to midfield. Miller was his backup, but that’s mostly because the Lions were not going to risk Golden Tate back there in a preseason game or Riddick once he hurt his abs.

Of the undrafted rookies, Abram’s snap count caught my eye. He entered the game on kick return after Riddick got hurt, and the Lions are clearly taking a look at him there either as a surprise on the roster (not likely) or a practice squad guy in a pinch (likely).

There were two surprises to me on the special teams. One was Slay on first-team kick coverage. In the regular season? Sure. But I had to check twice during the Lions’ first kickoff considering his value on defense to the Lions. The second was Durham on special teams. He’s going to need to play some to make sure he’s on the roster, and he was there more than the other veteran receivers.
It is still relatively early in the preseason, and like many teams, the Detroit Lions are going to spread out their snaps among a whole bunch of players in order to get an idea of what they have and what they might still need.

But sometimes, snap counts can give an idea of who needs some work or who is getting a longer look from the coaching staff. Here's a position-by- position breakdown of Detroit's snaps Saturday night.


Larry Webster 26 snaps (38 percent); Kris Redding 24 snaps (35 percent); George Johnson 19 snaps (28 percent); Devin Taylor 15 snaps (22 percent); Darryl Tapp 14 snaps (24 percent); Jason Jones 11 snaps (16 percent).

Analysis: It was almost a guarantee that Webster would see the most snaps of any Detroit defensive end. He’s going to be on the roster this season, and with how raw he is, the Lions need him to get as much game experience as possible. Expect this number to grow over the next three weeks. Johnson and Tapp’s snaps came with both the first and second units. If and when Ezekiel Ansah comes back, one of those two players is going to lose snaps to him.


Andre Fluellen 27 snaps (40 percent); Xavier Proctor 27 snaps (40 percent); Greg Hickman 24 snaps (35 percent); Caraun Reid 23 snaps (34 percent); Jimmy Saddler-McQueen 23 snaps (34 percent); C.J. Mosley 17 snaps (25 percent); Nick Fairley 12 snaps (18 percent); Ndamukong Suh 8 snaps (12 percent).

Analysis: The snap count here is inversely proportional to a player’s chances of making the final roster. Suh, Fairley and Mosley are the top three tackles, and Reid will be on the roster as a fourth tackle -- and first-team special-teamer. Saddler-McQueen played well in his snaps, and while he probably isn’t making the roster, if he can string together a couple more strong performances he might at least make Detroit think about it. In some of these snaps, Fluellen lined up outside and Jones lined up inside as well.


Julian Stanford 30 snaps (44 percent); Travis Lewis 26 snaps (38 percent); Brandon Hepburn 25 snaps (37 percent); Kyle Van Noy 20 snaps (29 percent); Tahir Whitehead 17 snaps (25 percent); Justin Jackson 17 snaps (25 percent); Ashlee Palmer 15 snaps (22 percent); Stephen Tulloch 13 snaps (19 percent); DeAndre Levy 13 snaps (19 percent).

Analysis: Levy, Tulloch and Palmer are the starters for now. Van Noy probably could have received some more snaps, but linebacker is a pretty heavy position right now as far as competition and depth behind him. Stanford probably saw more snaps than expected because of Whitehead’s injury. Other than Jackson, all involved are still in some contention for a roster spot.


Chris Greenwood 31 snaps (46 percent); Nevin Lawson 29 snaps (43 percent); Cassius Vaughn 25 snaps (37 percent); Darius Slay 24 snaps (35 percent); Bill Bentley 19 snaps (28 percent); Jonte Green 18 snaps (26 percent); Rashean Mathis 13 snaps (19 percent); Mohammed Seisay 7 snaps (10 percent).

Analysis: The most intriguing thing here were the snaps for Jonte Green, and I don’t remember him being injured last night. If I were him, I’d be at least mildly concerned the team didn’t take as long a look at him as they did Greenwood, Lawson or Vaughn. Greenwood got a long look last night, and as of now, he’s not in the best roster position. Lawson was going to see a good amount of snaps as both a rookie and the backup to Bentley in the slot. Watch Seisay’s snaps, though. It’ll be interesting if they jump in the next couple of weeks. That Aaron Hester didn’t get a single defensive snap does not bode well for him.


Isa Abdul-Quddus 45 snaps (66 percent); DeJon Gomes 30 snaps (44 percent); Jerome Couplin 25 snaps (37 percent); Glover Quin 13 snaps (19 percent); James Ihedigbo 13 snaps (19 percent); Don Carey 10 snaps (15 percent).

Analysis: Abdul-Quddus played more snaps than any defensive player and put together a good night. He was in on a lot of second-half tackles and also had an interception of Tyler Thigpen. He’s likely fighting with Gomes for the last roster spot and as of now, Gomes has the special teams edge. Pay attention to Couplin’s snaps over the next two weeks, too. His athleticism is really impressive so the Lions may want to really give him a long look at some point.