Fullback Vonta Leach was an afterthought during Monday night’s 18-16 win over the Detroit Lions.
Leach has seen his playing time dwindle over the past two months, but his three snaps on offense against the Lions were his fewest since the Week 9 loss to the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens did not get into any goal-line situations and they used three-receiver sets on pretty much every play, even on the few third-and-short situations they faced. Leach lined up as a receiver on one play and pass protected on another.
How little has Leach played in recent weeks? He has averaged less than a dozen snaps per game over the past eight games. At this point in the season, No. 4 wide receiver Tandon Doss and offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, who was traded away a couple of months ago, have played more snaps for the Ravens. Leach still brings value near the goal line, but it’s clear the Ravens don’t plan to use him for much else.
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Here are other observations from the official snap counts:
--- Tight end Dennis Pitta played 29 snaps against the Lions. He played 36 against the Minnesota Vikings, his first game back from a hip injury. Ed Dickson actually played more snaps (33) and was on the field for some red zone plays instead of Pitta, which was interesting. Dallas Clark was active but did not play.
--- Strong-side linebacker Elvis Dumervil played 33 of the team’s 65 defensive snaps in his return from an ankle injury. He did not record a sack, but he had two quarterback hits. Strong-side linebacker Courtney Upshaw played 42 snaps. Rush linebacker Terrell Suggs played 47 while his backup, Pernell McPhee, played 23.
--- DeAngelo Tyson played just nine snaps off the bench, but the second-year defensive tackle made an impact by intercepting Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Starting nose tackle Haloti Ngata played 38 snaps. Fellow starters Arthur Jones and Chris Canty played 32 and 29, respectively. Backup nose tackle Terrence Cody played 14.
--- Torrey Smith played all 62 offensive snaps for the Ravens and fellow wide receiver Marlon Brown sat out just one snap. Jacoby Jones played 53 snaps on offense. Those three wide receivers combined for 14 catches for 180 yards, but none of them scored. Doss played seven snaps. Deonte Thompson was inactive.
--- Jameel McClain got the majority of the snaps at weak-side linebacker against Reggie Bush and the Lions, playing 42 out of a possible 65 snaps. Rookie Arthur Brown played 12 and Josh Bynes played 11. Meanwhile, Daryl Smith again got all the snaps at middle linebacker and had five tackles, a sack and an interception.
--- Running back Ray Rice played 44 snaps and rushed for 56 yards on 12 carries. Bernard Pierce played just 17 snaps, but he got seven carries ans rushed for 21 yards.
--- Cornerback Jimmy Smith, who shadowed Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson for much of the game, played every defensive snap. So did fellow cornerback Lardarius Webb and starting safeties Matt Elam and James Ihedigbo. Nickel corner Corey Graham, who covered Johnson in the slot at times, sat out just seven snaps.
--- Eight Ravens played 15 or more snaps on special teams. Those players were Jeromy Miles, Anthony Levine, Josh Bynes, Albert McClellan, Kyle Juszczyk, Chykie Brown, Arthur Brown and Ed Dickson. Justin Tucker got 12 snaps on kickoffs and field goals. Needless to say, the young kicker made the most of them.