Here is how the Lions' rookies responded in their first game and what to look for from them on Sunday in Arizona.
1. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah didn’t start, probably because he was coming off a concussion. But he was on the field for about half the defensive snaps and was strong. He was credited for half a sack. He was a big part of the defensive line’s success and he will only get better.
2. Cornerback Darius Slay hung in there through three quarters when coach Jim Schwartz went to the bullpen for veteran Rashean Mathis. It looked like Slay missed a block on Adrian Peterson’s 78-yard touchdown run. It’s a learning process especially for a rookie cornerback. Slay not only survived but Schwartz said he is still the starter. He knows Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer will be targeting him. He says he is up for the challenge.
3. Right guard Larry Warford played like a veteran, a good veteran. The offensive line as a whole had a good game.
4. Punter Sam Martin had a bit of a rough go but toward the end had a punt that went to the one-yard line. He should be fine.
5. Tight end Joe Fauria might see his playing time increased after he was targeted three times and caught all three including a one-yard touchdown pass when most of the Vikings were clustered around Calvin Johnson on the other side of the end zone. He needs to work on his touchdown dances.
Also, running back Theo Riddick saw quality time on special teams. Tackle LaAdrian Waddle was inactive, but if Jason Fox (groin) can’t go Sunday Corey Hilliard will start and Waddle will be active.