His first week back was week 14 where he got 38% of the defensive snaps and had 0 recorded stats. No tackles no sacks.
His second week back he had 2 sacks and played 41% of the snap counts.
Week 16 he played 60% of the defensive snaps.
Those 3 weeks the Comish was taking around 80% of the defensive snaps. Then week 17 Paschal returned from injury and took on 48% of the defensive snaps. Romeo dropped to 29 %
Week 18 Comish had the most snaps at 77%, Paschal at 27% and Romeo at just 20%.
Point I’m trying to make is Romeo lost snaps and became the bottom guy in the rotation once Paschal returned from injury and Romeos snap counts declined. Before that the Lions were increasing his snap count each week but Romeo was the least effective of the group.
Over 5 weeks he had only 3 solo tackles and two of those were sacks. So outside of those two sacks he had one solo tackle.
Those final two weeks Paschal had 2 sacks and 4 solo tackles.
Paschal and Cominsky were clearly more effective players. So the Lions reduced Romeos opportunities.
I think it was obvious that Romeo wasn’t getting it done. The Lions were increasing his snap count each week but he just wasn’t showing up so once Paschal came back and starts out playing him the Lions tapered down Romeo’s snaps.
Romeo is in a 3 man rotation with Cominsky and Paschal. He was the least effective of the 3. The Comish is the best run stuffer of the 3 and has shown he deserves a new contract. If the Lions give it to him I do not think they can justify keeping Romeo. It’s that simple. If they let Cominsky leave in FA then Romeo has a chance to return.
That’s not what I said … but let’s look at the time line and facts more closely.
Levi had a bulging disc in his back. Not a herniated one. Most doctors will tell you not to operate on a bulging disc until it herniates. Why? … because the surgery has a 50/50 chance of making things worse. So most doctors won’t even do it. I have had two herniated disc surgeries and currently have 4 bulging disc in my back. So I do know a little about it.
There’s a lot of players in the NFL playing with bulging disc’s most just medicate and strengthen their core to reduce the issues associated with it. The Lions clearly tried to take this approach with him.
Go back and listen to Levi’s comments his first season. He stated at the beginning of the season his back was fine and he was back at 100%. Then he started to get blown off the ball. It was clear his conditioning and strength wasn’t there. He played in all 16 games but rode the pine much of the time. But if you listen to what Levi said he was physically fine. There were reports he aggravated the back by the Lions staff but Levi said he felt fine several times… I reviewed every snap he played that year on the coaches tape and it was clear the kid wasn’t physically ready. Holmes in the offseason stated they knew Levi wasn’t ready and that Levi needed to work on his conditioning and take better care of his body.
Reports come in the offseason that Levi is working hard on his conditioning and strength.
Year two comes around. Levi reports to camp and the back problems persist on day one. Reports come out of camp that he aggravated the back again and Levi goes back into rehabbing and conditioning his back.
Campbell comes out in October and states that Levi’s progress is going at a snails pace and they have consulted many doctors and Levi decided to have surgery and would be out the season.
The back wasn’t supposed to be an issue. Team doctors cleared him. Levi himself stated it was fine many times. It was something that didn’t need surgery (and shouldn’t have) but when Levi wasn’t progressing like they hoped. He told the team he was getting it fixed and they shut him down for the season. It wasn’t a major surgery and he should have been able to make it back this season. Players have had herniated disc surgeries and returned in the same season. Bulging is far less severe. But the Lions chose to shut him down completely… why?…. Because they know that regardless the kid isn’t NFL ready.
Personally I do not think the kid has the work ethic and the back is more an excuse. Levi shouldn’t have needed surgery for a bulging disc but he chose to force surgery. I can tell you 9 out of 10 doctors will tell you not to operate on bulging disc’s. You can always find one who will do it though.
I’ll be shocked if this kid is even in the league come 2024.
You could be right. I just am not sure you want to put that many snaps on someone returning from achilles injury. He seemed to heal slower. The work load he got early could have pushed him a little hard so they may have backed him down some. That being said I know that commish is very effective and Paschal has shown a lot of promise since healthy.
That’s the key, and I’ll throw Jamaal in there. A lot of these guys had career seasons. It would be nice to bring them all back but it can’t be at top of the market prices. Charles Harris is one example of this.
If they want to come back at reasonable prices, bring them back, but if it’s too rich they have to look elsewhere. Need some external improvements too and the Lions aren’t exactly loaded with cap space.
But the D-line coach and AG told the press several times that Levi couldn’t even sit down in team meetings his rookie season, so that sounded like he wasn’t even close to being healthy, which made many Lions fans wonder why he was even playing his rookie year. If you can’t sit down, how can you play in the nfl week to week. He played 396 snaps in 2021. So, he was getting about 20-25 snaps per game on average despite not being able to sit down. The whole situation is just very strange to me.
Yea, I could very well see that. I appreciate the detailed response. You make some good points. It’s just so difficult to know the truth because we have heard almost nothing about him since he was put on IR in October. We have also heard no updates Big V or Kraemer who also went out for the season with back injuries. Levi’s career could very well be over, but I’m not going to call the kid a turd based on no evidence of that.
On a different note, I’m with you on Romeo. I think the writing is on the wall with Paschal, Cominsky, Hutch, Houston and Harris all likely to be back. That’s 5 deep on the edge and Romeo is extremely expensive for a rotational player coming back from a serious injury.
It seemed like Buggs was trying to be a leader for sure in some of the mic’d up moments. Buggs had 10 QB hits this year, he’s not bad at all. But, I think he’d be perfect as a backup, rotational DT, who gets 15-20 snaps per game. We just desperately lack a game wrecker inside on the D-line that commands double teams constantly. We got edge players for days.
Any chance that Paschal is asked to continue to “bulk up” and be our “pressure DT”. He looks much bigger than he did in college. He played a number of snaps at DT in pass rush situations towards the end of the season.
A good time to remind everyone… it’s been 3 years since Levi has shown any significant football talent. He missed this entire past season, Air referenced his crappy rookie season above, and he opted out of the 2020 college season. The last time anyone has seen this kid look good on a football field was 2019. OUCH. I also did a little googling to make sure my memory serves me right, and sure enough a lot of the draft reports labeled him as a work in progress who had “flashes” and “moments” that popped on tape but was overall inconsistent and really needed development. His write up on NFL dot com suggests he’ll need 2 solid years of development in order to become a starter. And it also highlights this scary notes from an NFC Scout: “I don’t know if it’s going to matter, but he has a really weird build with a big upper body but these skinny ankles, which can be a concern.”
Hey, even if he’s healthy, it feels like best case scenario he’s fighting for a role as a developmental back up with an incredible amount of time/reps to make up for.
When the Packers were at their best in drafting talent, they never waited or counted on a guy like Levi. They always proceeded like he wasn’t there. And if he emerges, that’s a bonus. The saying is “everyone is replaceable.” For a period of time it was like they replaced guys twice. One replacement was already on the roster, so they didn’t have to fool with a straggler who wasn’t getting with the program. Then an upgrade was brought in shortly after that. “This train stops for noone.”