Packers Snap Counts: Backup receivers get their chance in finale
Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy kept insisting before the Packers' final game of the season that he would not use it as a tryout for younger, inexperienced players. However, when it came to receivers, he had little choice but to do just that.
With Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson both out and Geronimo Allison having to leave early due to an injured finger, that left McCarthy little choice.
Michael Clark, who we spotlighted last week, got in on 47 offensive snaps against Detroit -- only Randall Cobb (55) had more among wide receivers.
Still, that left a lot of playing time for two players who rarely were used on offense in 2017 -- Trevor Davis and Jeff Janis.
Davis entered Sunday having just 64 snaps on offense all season, 16 of which came the previous week against Minnesota and 17 in Week 2. Four times this year Davis didn't play one snap on offense.
But that pales in comparison to Janis. The fourth-year wide receiver had seen all of 20 offensive snaps this season, and 12 of those were vs. the Vikings. His high previous to Week 16 was three snaps -- in the season opener. Janis didn't have more than one snap in any other game and didn't get in on any offensive plays in eight of Green Bay's first 14 games.
However, as noted, Janis was needed against the Lions and got in on 30 snaps (eight more than Allison and 44 percent of all of Green Bay's offensive plays).
The extra work really didn't amount to all that much, though, as quarterbacks Brett Hundley and Joe Callahan completed just 19 of 31 passes. Davis and Janis were both targeted three times. Davis had the most yards of any Packers receiver, with 56 yards on three catches. Janis had just one catch and it netted no yards.
Clark, by the way, was targeted five times but had only one catch for five years.
Other notes from Sunday's snap counts:
-- Tight end Emanuel Byrd was signed off the practice squad Dec. 26 and made his NFL debut. Byrd had 11 snaps (16 percent) but still managed to catch both of his targets for 31 yards, including a 29-yarder, which was tied for Green Bay's longest play of the day.
-- The Packers' other tight end, Lance Kendricks, was in on 58 plays (85 percent) but wasn't targeted a single time.
-- Cobb was in on 55 plays (81 percent) and completed his first NFL pass. He had one previous attempt, an incompletion in 2011, his rookie season.
-- Even in a meaningless game with no playoff implications for either team, safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett and linebacker Blake Martinez played in all 58 defensive snaps.
-- Linebacker Clay Matthews was in on just 23 defensive snaps (40 percent), his second-lowest total of the season behind the 13 (22 percent) against Baltimore, a game in which he had to leave due to a groin injury.
-- Rookie cornerback Lenzy Pipkins played in a season-high 52 (90 percent) defensive snaps. He had 70 defensive snaps coming into the game, which included 46 in Green Bay's first game against Minnesota and 19 in the second vs. the Vikings. Meaning he had just five snaps against every other Packers opponent until Sunday's contest in Detroit. He finished with five tackles (four solo).