Snap Count Analysis: Aqib Talib Plays 26 Snaps in First Game Back from IR 

The Rams were able to clinch the NFC West with a 30-16 victory over the Lions on Sunday, moving Los Angeles to 11-1 on the season. And one of the most encouraging elements of the performance was cornerback Aqib Talib’s return to action.

Here is a look at the snap counts for Los Angeles’ defense, offense, and special teams.

DEFENSE

— Cornerback Aqib Talib made his return, playing 26 snaps (36 percent) in the first half of Sunday’s victory. Head coach Sean McVay told the media after the game that the plan was always to have Talib play about 30 snaps in the matchup.

— There were three players who were on the field for each of Los Angeles’ 72 defensive snaps: middle linebacker Cory Littleton, safety John Johnson, and safety Lamarcus Joyner.

— Defensive tackle Aaron Donald put together another high-quality performance in his 63 snaps (88 percent), recording five tackles — four for loss — with 2.0 t on , four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.

— Recently acquired outside linebacker Dante Fowler was next on the list, playing 62 snaps (86 percent). Fowler started his second game as a Ram, making five tackles — three for loss — with a sack. In his four games with Los Angeles, Fowler has played 62 percent, 72.1 percent, 88.9 percent, and 86.1 percent of snaps.

— In his return to Detroit, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh played 59 snaps (82 percent). He finished with six tackles and a quarterback hit.

— With Talib playing only one half, cornerback Troy Hill played the majority of snaps at corner (38 snaps/53 percent) with Sam Shields (21 snaps/29 percent) also rotating in. Cornerback Marcus Peters (60 snaps/83 percent) also had to exit and re-enter the game.

OFFENSE

— Los Angeles had its usual six players take 100 percent of the snaps on offense: left tackle Andrew Whitworth, left guard Rodger Saffold, center John Sullivan, right guard Austin Blythe, right tackle Rob Havenstein, and quarterback Jared Goff. The Rams had a total of 69 offensive snaps on Sunday.

— Josh Reynolds has been fully integrated the offense as a starter at wide receiver, replacing the injured Cooper Kupp. Reynolds played 67 snaps (97 percent), with Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks both playing 66 snaps (96 percent). Cooks went over 1,000 yards receiving for the fourth consecutive season on Sunday.

— At running back, Todd Gurley had a heavy workload at 65 snaps (94 percent). L.A. had only two running backs active in Gurley and Malcolm Brown, but Brown suffered a shoulder injury in the first half and was able to play only three snaps (four percent). Gurley had 165 yards from scrimmage (132 rushing, 33 receiving).

— Tight ends Tyler Higbee 47 snaps/68 percent) and Gerald Everett (24 snaps/35 percent) effectively split time at the position. Higbee had two receptions for 19 yards, Everett had one catch for seven yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS

— Linebacker Bryce Hager and safety Blake Countess continued to lead the way for special teams snaps at 25 (81 percent).

— Kicker Greg Zuerlein had 13 special teams snaps (42 percent) between three field goals, three extra points, and seven kickoffs.

— Punter Johnny Hekker was in for nine snaps, three of which were punts. He averaged 50.3 yards per punt, with one downed inside the 20-yard line.

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