Lions rookie Riley Reiff getting more snaps, lining up at multiple positionsPlaying time is starting to become a little more frequent for the Detroit Lions’ Riley Reiff.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
Playing time is starting to become a little more frequent for the Detroit Lions’ Riley Reiff.
But the Parkston native isn’t lining up on the same spot on the field each play. He’s been seeing time at tackle, tight end and even fullback in the last five games.
“It’s fun being on the field and it’s what we get paid to do,” Reiff said in an interview with The Daily Republic before Friday’s practice in preparation of Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers (6-3). The noon game will be televised locally on FOX. “You’ve got to do your job and I love being out there with the guys.”
According to Green Bay Press Gazette reporter Pete Dougherty — who featured Reiff’s assortment of abilities in a story Friday — the Lions’ rookie tackle played only nine snaps of offense in his first four regular-season games.
Since then, the 23rd overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft played 22 snaps against Philadelphia, 11 against Chicago, nine against Seattle, 33 against Jacksonville and 21 against Minnesota last week. In the last four games, the 6-foot-6, 313-pounder has lined up on about 40 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.
Because he’s been seeing more field action, Reiff doesn’t even remember the first snap he took in the regular season or how the play went for him.
“Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you what it was,” he said. “Weeks get bunched together. Seems like the time goes by pretty fast.”
Dougherty suggested the Lions (4-5) provided more time to Reiff to add more punch in the running game. It seems it is working, too.
In a 31-14 Lions win over Jacksonville on Nov. 4, Reiff helped his team stack up four rushing touchdowns and 149 yards on the ground. Last week, the Lions’ rushing attack was slowed with only 56 yards by NFC North Division rival Minnesota, a game where Reiff got to see fellow South Dakotan and NFL linebacker Chad Greenway intercept a Matthew Stafford pass in the first half.
Reiff said he and Greenway, a Mount Vernon native, talked for 10 to 20 minutes after the game.
“Chad’s a great guy, a good friend,” Reiff said. “He’s a pro and playing at a super high level. He’s a great player and I wish him the best of luck. I can’t speak enough about how well he’s playing.”
This year, the Lions rank 13th in the league in scoring, well off the fourth-best scoring offense a year ago when the team qualified for the playoffs. They’re also in last place in the NFC North and face a Packers team that has won four in a row heading into Sunday.
“I’m sure there are a few games that I wish we could have had, but we’re going to keep working hard and move forward,” Reiff said. “Any way I can help out, I’ll keep trying to contribute as much as possible.”