Big changes aren’t coming over the final nine games for the 0-8 Detroit Lions, but these five players should play more coming out of the Week 9 bye.
At 0-8, the Detroit Lions have expectedly struggled in the first year of another rebuild/reset. They just can’t match the talent level of their opponents on both sides of the ball. Head coach Dan Campbell’s willingness to think outside the box has been a little unexpected, with mixed results.
Moving forward from their Week 9 bye for the rest of the season, the future is now for the Lions. The trade deadline didn’t yield anything, but veterans who don’t have a future with the franchise will no doubt be offseason trade candidates.
Finding a way to win a game is a priority from here on out. Players who are contributing little, or actively hurting the effort to cash in a victory or two, should have their playing time reduced if there’s a younger player who can benefit from getting some run.
In particular, these five Lions should play more after the bye week.
5 Detroit Lions who should play more after the bye
5. DT Levi Onwuzurike
With a bit of first-round buzz around him despite opting out of the 2020 season in college, Onwuzurike was the first of two interior defensive lineman the Lions took in the second round of the 2021 draft (Alim McNeill was the other).
Onwuzurike has not been flawless, but he’s coming of playing a season-high 29 snaps (a 45 percent snap share) in Week 8. And check out this play from Week 7 against the Rams.
Onwuzurike’s Week 8 uptick in playing time should continue after the bye, even if it’s at the expense of veteran Michael Brockers.