Lions Week 15 rookie report: Where will Jonah Jackson line up?

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Max Gerber
·4 min read
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As the season comes closer to the end, the Detroit Lions seem to have fewer and fewer rookies available on their roster due to injuries.

Luckily for Detroit, most of the ones who are still healthy will be playing major roles for the team as they get ready to play against the Tennessee Titans in Week 15.

Here’s what to expect from the rookies this Sunday afternoon:

RB D’Andre Swift

For the first time in weeks, Swift’s status for an upcoming game is not in question. The rookie will get the start against Tennessee but could have some struggles against their defense.

The Titans have prevented opposing teams for rushing over 100 yards six times so far this season and have been fairly effective at shutting down running backs in the passing game as well.

The rookie has averaged just 35 rushing yards per game this year and also has hauled in 35 receptions for 301 yards. He has also found the endzone seven times in his 10 games.

Swift will have to put on a strong showing as the starter to help out the Lions offense. With massive change-ups happening at three spots on the offensive line, it’ll make it that much harder for the rookie.

OL Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg

As mentioned earlier, some major changes will be happening on the offensive line for Detroit.

After suffering a fractured throat last weekend, Frank Ragnow has been ruled out, leaving some uncertainty as to who will start at center.

Third-round pick Jonah Jackson had previously played center during his time at Rutgers before transferring to Ohio State and could be named the starting center after starting at both left and right guard throughout this year.

Right now, it is a toss-up between Jackson and Joe Dahl, who has practiced at center many times over his career in Detroit but has never played the position in a regular season game. Whoever wins the job at center, the other will play left guard.

With a lack of depth now for the interior offensive line, Logan Stenberg may have a window to get himself onto the gameday roster. He had taken a few special teams snaps in two games this season, and now could serve as Detroit’s backup guard and center in their matchup against Tennessee.

WR Quintez Cephus

With Kenny Golladay out once again, Cephus will likely see more playing time at the wide receiver position.

The rookie has had a very up-and-down season, especially in recent weeks. Two weeks ago against Chicago, he had two receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. The following week, he took more snaps on offense but came away with the same number of receptions but for just 16 yards.

Cephus is the clear fourth option at receiver behind Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, and Mohamed Sanu. His size and versatility to play both the outside and the slot will help his chances of getting a good share of snaps in this game, but it’ll be up to him for how he will perform.

The rookie has dropped 11-percent of passes that have come his way and has 16 receptions for 253 yards on the season. If he can become more reliable, he will be a solid asset to the passing game.

DL John Penisini

The rookie nose tackle is once again listed as questionable as the Lions prepare for this game.

Nose tackles are not known for impressive stat lines on defense, and that remains true for Penisini. Last week against Green Bay, he had just two tackles, one of which went for a loss of yards.

If he can play, he will be Detroit’s starting nose tackle. Unfortunately for him and the rest of the defensive line, they will be facing off against the NFL’s best running back, Derrick Henry. Tennessee’s star rusher is coming off a 215-yard, two score game last week, and is now set to face one of the league’s worst-ranked defenses.

If active, Penisini will have a lot on his plate this week as he tries to prevent Henry from trampling the defense.

TE Hunter Bryant

Bryant will once again serve as Detroit’s third tight end behind T.J. Hockenson and Jesse James. The undrafted rookie has appeared in two games this season, taking a total of nine offensive snaps without even a single target.