3 Detroit Lions players who are sneaky x-factors vs. 49ers in NFC Championship Game

Beyond the names you know the best, these three players are sneaky x-factors for the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game.

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2. RB Craig Reynolds

A huge hat-tip to Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports for this one.

Reynolds had his first carry since Week 8 in the Divisional Round against Tampa Bay, surprisingly scoring a touchdown on a 4th-and-goal. It was revealed this week, by wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown on his podcast with his brother Equanimeous, that Reynolds wasn't supposed to be on the field for the play.

"Bro, you know what’s crazy? He wasn’t even supposed to be in,” Amon-Ra St. Brown said about Reynolds touchdown that gave the Lions a 17-10 lead in the game. “Bruh, we had a different—the personnel got messed up.

This week, Reynolds' role as the Lions' kickoff returner stands to be very important. The field position battle will be big on Sunday, and on the Lions need to win it within all the various components of that.

During the regular season, 49ers' kicker Jake Moody had one of the lower touchback rates among those with a large enough sample of kickoffs to be meaningful (60 percent). As a tentacle of that, San Francisco allowed the third-most kickoff returns and the third-most kickoff return yards in the league.

This isn't a call that Reynolds will have a kickoff return touchdown on Sunday. But he could break one or two returns in a field-tilting way based on a sneaky area the 49ers aren't very good in for whatever reason(s), capturing or sustaining momentum for the Lions as he does so.