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Lions snap counts: Teez Tabor is active again — just not on defense

For weeks, Lions coaches said that Teez Tabor needed to improve in practice in order to get out on the field. They said they still believed in last year’s second-round pick, even though he wasn’t their selection, and that they believed in him as a cornerback and not a safety.

For the first time in a month, Tabor was active for a Lions game. It just wasn’t to play on defense.

With recently acquired cornerback Marcus Cooper out injured, Tabor got the nod on the active list but spent all 10 of his snaps on special teams. The Lions played 68 snaps on defense, but none of them featured their second-year cornerback.

Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson and Mike Ford were again the high-snappers at that position, all garnering at least 69 percent of the plays. De’Shawn Shead picked up the other 10 snaps at that spot.

It goes to show that while the Lions haven’t given up on Tabor yet, they also don’t trust him to play in games, not even against a rookie quarterback’s 31st-ranked passing attack late in Tabor’s second season. He hasn’t taken a defensive snap since the win over the Panthers a month ago, and he hasn’t seen more than 20 defensive snaps in a game since the seventh contest of the year.

Time is ticking for Tabor to show the Lions that they have a reason to play him on defense and for them to give a young player some time to show what he can do. Detroit was officially eliminated from playoff contention with the 14-13 loss to the Bills that dropped it to 5-9, so if there’s ever a time to try a struggling young player, it’d be these final two games.

Here were other observations from how the snap counts shook out:

— Zach Zenner earned his first start at running back and saw the highest number of snaps at the position, barely edging out Theo Riddick, 26-25. Zenner had the strong showing at the end of the win over the Cardinals and posted a sound day against the Bills’ loaded front, running 10 times for 45 yards and a touchdown. After LeGarrette Blount posted another subpar day with nine yards on seven carries, Zenner certainly looks like the best of the backup running options while Kerryon Johnson is out.

— Levine Toilolo was again the featured tight end, nearly doubling up Luke Willson in snaps. He had a nifty 18-yard catch and caught all four targets on the day, though for just 28 yards. He came to Detroit to be a blocking specialist, but ironically, his hands have been better than his blocking this season. Detroit still isn’t getting nearly enough out of this position, though, as Toilolo’s 28 yards were it for the group.

— Romeo Okwara was the iron man with Ezekiel Ansah and Da’Shawn Hand out. He logged 66 of 68 plays at defensive end, which is a very high number for a position that regularly rotates. He held a solid contain on Josh Allen, who didn’t have anywhere near the rushing success he had in any other game recently. Okwara has been one of the bright spots of this team since Detroit claimed the undrafted second-year man off waivers early in the season.

— Fifth-round rookie Tyrell Crosby got the start at right tackle in place of an injured Rick Wagner and played all 57 snaps with his fellow offensive linemen. He didn’t have a perfect day by any means, with a blown-up cut block on third-and-short being the low point, but he and the rest of the line blocked for a 100-yard rushing day and did not surrender a sack, so it certainly could have gone worse against such a strong defensive line.

Here’s the full list of snap counts:


OG Frank Ragnow 57 (100 percent)

OT Tyrell Crosby 57 (100 percent)

C Graham Glasgow 57 (100 percent)

OG Kenny Wiggins 57 (100 percent)

OT Taylor Decker 57 (100 percent)

QB Matthew Stafford 57 (100 percent)

WR Kenny Golladay 52 (91 percent)

WR Andy Jones 45 (79 percent)

TE Levine Toilolo 40 (70 percent)

WR TJ Jones 36 (63 percent)

RB Zach Zenner 26 (46 percent)

RB Theo Riddick 25 (44 percent)

TE Luke Willson 24 (42 percent)

WR Brandon Powell 12 (21 percent)

RB LeGarrette Blount 11 (19 percent)

OG Joe Dahl 10 (18 percent)

TE Jerome Cunningham 4 (7 percent)


LB Jarrad Davis 68 (100 percent)

LB Devon Kennard 68 (100 percent)

CB Darius Slay 68 (100 percent)

DE Romeo Okwara 66 (97 percent)

CB Nevin Lawson 62 (91 percent)

SS Quandre Diggs 62 (91 percent)

LB Christian Jones 60 (88 percent)

FS Glover Quin 53 (78 percent)

DT Damon Harrison 52 (76 percent)

DT A’Shawn Robinson 51 (75 percent)

CB Mike Ford 47 (69 percent)

DT Ricky Jean Francois 29 (43 percent)

FS Tracy Walker 23 (34 percent)

DE Kerry Hyder 15 (22 percent)

CB De’Shawn Shead 10 (15 percent)

SS Tavon Wilson 10 (15 percent)

LB Eli Harold 2 (3 percent)

DE Eric Lee DE 2 (3 percent)


Miles Killebrew 19 (79 percent)

De’Shawn Shead 19 (79 percent)

Trevor Bates 17 (71 percent)

Zach Zenner 17 (71 percent)

Kelvin Sheppard 15 (62 percent)

Tavon Wilson 14 (58 percent)

Sam Martin 13 (54 percent)

Levine Toilolo 12 (50 percent)

Andy Jones 11 (46 percent)

Nick Grigsby 10 (42 percent)

Don Muhlbach 10 (42 percent)

Teez Tabor 10 (42 percent)

Tracy Walker 10 (42 percent)

TJ Jones 8 (33 percent)

Glover Quin 7 (29 percent)

Mike Ford 7 (29 percent)

Luke Willson 6 (25 percent)

Brandon Powell 6 (25 percent)

Nevin Lawson 5 (21 percent)

Jarrad Davis 4 (17 percent)

Romeo Okwara 4 (17 percent)

Quandre Diggs 3 (12 percent)

Christian Jones 3 (12 percent)

Matt Prater 3 (12 percent)

Andrew Donnal 3 (12 percent)

Frank Ragnow 3 (12 percent)

Joe Dahl 3 (12 percent)

Tyrell Crosby 3 (12 percent)

Graham Glasgow 3 (12 percent)

Kenny Wiggins 3 (12 percent)

Devon Kennard 2 (8 percent)

Darius Slay 2 (8 percent)

Damon Harrison 2 (8 percent)

A’Shawn Robinson 2 (8 percent)

Ricky Jean Francois 2 (8 percent)

Jerome Cunningham 1 (4 percent)

Kerry Hyder 1 (4 percent)

Eli Harold 1 (4 percent)

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