The Detroit Lions had an up and down day on the road against the Dallas Cowboys, playing well early and late but fizzling out on the game’s final drive, leading to a field goal at the buzzer to win the game. As part of that up and down effort on the field, there were some pretty interesting players playing different roles for the team. So what did this look like when all was said and done for the Lions?
Here’s a fresh look at some of this week’s top snap counts to note, and what they mean to the team in the grand scheme of things after Week 4’s conclusion.
1. Jamal Agnew back on offense. Though he only had two offensive snaps, Agnew made them count with what he was able to do, taking a jet sweep deep into Dallas territory and making folks wonder why Jim Bob Cooter doesn’t use him more often. It would be nice to see Agnew on offense more, and for one day, a few snaps managed to get taken which showed that he could be a difference maker. We’ll see if the Lions manage to get him in the game like this again at all the rest of the year. As for now, two snaps is all he will get.
2. Miles Killebrew a man without a role. The Lions came into the season with depth at safety, and it’s only when that depth is greatly tested do they unleash Killebrew, a former third round pick, on the field. Detroit lost both Quandre Diggs and Tavon Wilson to injury on Sunday, and Killebrew only managed one defensive snap in the game. Rookie Tracy Walker, by comparison, managed to net 27, which was a major uptick for him. Safe to say there’s a question of what Killebrew can offer the defense brewing now, and if either of Detroit’s safeties have to be shelved, it will be fascinating to see how they use Killebrew moving forward.
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3. Romeo Okwara a leading man. With 56 snaps in the game, Okwara was never trusted on a field more than he was against Dallas, and he played a decent role for the team, save for a questionable personal foul call against him. The Lions clearly like what Okwara can do in the absence of Ezekiel Ansah, and he is the one being trusted the most at this point for that role. We’ll see if he can continue to grow in it given the time he is likely to see from Detroit as a result of that, especially if Ansah cannot shake off injury and get better quickly.
4. Kerryon Johnson at his mark. With 20 snaps, Johnson was again not the leading man for the Lions, with Theo Riddick (25) getting that designation. Riddick is more of a pass catcher so that makes sense, but it’s time to give Johnson the chance to show what he can do and play a bigger role for the offense. 20 snaps isn’t going to get it done, especially with him running as hard as he has been running and doing what he’s done on the field.
5. Kenny Wiggins the replacement. Most folks already knew that in the event of an injury to T.J. Lang, Wiggins would be a guy that was turned to. That happened again this week, as Wiggins got the call when Lang went out with his concussion. With 44 snaps, the Lions likely look at Wiggins as money well spent in free agency already. If Lang can’t go again, watch for Wiggins to start for Detroit like he did in Week 2 against San Francisco.