Each week, we’ll take a look at how the Detroit Lions’ rookies fared in the most recent game, along with trends and stats for the rest of the season.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Much like the rest of the Detroit Lions did on Sunday during a 37-27 loss to Pittsburgh, the rookies struggled as well.
As always, here’s a look at how the rookies fared Sunday.
DE Ziggy Ansah (first round, BYU): Ansah was inactive for the first time Sunday as he recovers from an ankle injury suffered against Dallas two weeks ago.
Ansah’s snap percentages after the opener, when he was recovering from injury:
Arizona -- 70 percent; Washington -- 62 percent; Chicago -- 68 percent; Green Bay -- 72 percent; Cleveland -- 75 percent; Cincinnati – 70 percent; Dallas -- 21 percent; at Chicago -- DNP/injured; Pittsburgh -- DNP/injured
CB Darius Slay (second round, Mississippi State): Slay’s role was greatly diminished Sunday as he played only five defensive snaps. He had a lot of special-teams snaps, though, with 21 special-teams plays. He had one tackle while on defense.
RG Larry Warford (third round, Kentucky): Warford played every snap for the 10th straight game and had at least one impressive downfield block in the second quarter. As a line, the Lions struggled to keep Matthew Stafford clean -- he was sacked twice and hit five times, and Detroit only rushed for 107 yards.
DE Devin Taylor (fourth round, South Carolina): Taylor made his second start Sunday in place of Ansah and picked up 70 percent of the defensive snaps (54 actual snaps). He was not very productive in those snaps as he failed to record a tackle or a quarterback hit. A tough step down for him Sunday.
P Sam Martin (fifth round, Appalachian State): An average day for Martin punting -- he had a gross of 50.7 yards on his three punts with a net of 45 yards. He put none inside the 20-yard line but also had no touchbacks. Five of his six kickoffs went for touchbacks. His most noticeable play was his fake field goal run that he fumbled in the fourth quarter, still short of the first-down marker.
RB Theo Riddick (sixth round, Notre Dame): Riddick played four snaps offensively for Detroit, including some right at the end of the game in favor of a healthy Reggie Bush. He was targeted once but did not record any offensive, defensive or special-teams statistics otherwise.
TE Joseph Fauria (undrafted, UCLA): Fauria appears to have found a consistent level of snaps in the past few weeks. He played 20 snaps Sunday (27 percent) and was targeted twice -- including once in the end zone, although he didn’t make that catch. He had one catch for 14 yards and is playing more of the full field, but isn’t seeing quite the production he did early in the year.
A brief look at Fauria’s tracking:
Week 1 -- three targets, three catches, one touchdown, 14 percent of snaps (11 plays).
Week 2 -- no targets, no catches, 10 percent of snaps (six plays).
Week 3 -- three targets, one catch, one touchdown, 18 percent of snaps (12 plays).
Week 4 -- no targets, no catches, 20 percent of snaps (13 plays)
Week 5 -- no targets, no catches, 13 percent of snaps (9 plays)
Week 6 -- three targets, three catches, three touchdowns, 31 percent of snaps (23 plays)
Week 7 – four targets, one catch, 40 percent of snaps (31 plays)
Week 8 -- no targets, no catches, 19 percent of snaps (15 plays)
Week 10 -- two targets, one catch, 23 percent of snaps (14 plays)
Week 11 -- two targets, one catch, 27 percent of snaps (20 plays)
OT LaAdrian Waddle (undrafted, Texas Tech): Waddle made his third straight start Sunday and played every snap -- clearly overcoming the issues he had with his shoes earlier this season (they kept falling off). He and Warford seemed to handle things well on the right side of the line. Waddle -- and this is not a good thing for an offensive lineman -- also had a tackle.