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RB Zach Zenner - Detroit Lions

5-11, 223Born: 9-13-1991College: South Dakota StateDrafted: ---

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Photo: Geoff Burke, US Presswire

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Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
17 vs GB 64 20 69 1 5 4 41 0 0 17
18 at SEA 53 11 34 0 6 6 54 0 0 8.8

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 18 vs SEA (11 / 34 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 54 / 0 rec)

Zenner was fairly ineffective throughout the game as a runner on Saturday night. He wasn't utilized heavily and only had 11 carries throughout the game. Zenner's best run came on a run designed to go to the right side of the formation, and tackle Cornelius Lucas kicked out the defensive end while guard Larry Warford showed his power and movement ability to kick the defensive tackle out of the hole. Zenner showed good vision to cut back inside of Warford and took the ball for 17 yards. That was the best for Zenner, and he really had no room to run at all in this game. He ran hard and with very good pad lean and he almost always finished his runs falling forward but the Seahawks did a very good job of limiting his room and squeezed him throughout the game. Zenner didn't leave many yards on the field and took everything the Seahawks gave him in the running game. He was heavily involved as a pass catcher as he was targeted six times and caught all six passes that totaled 54 yards. Four of these came on screen passes, and one of the highlights came on a screen pass to the right where Zenner made a great catch and he took the pass and went for 23 yards. Zenner was targeted on an out route coming out of the backfield that went for five yards and caught another pass in the middle of the field as a safety valve that went for seven yards. For the most part it was tough sledding for Zenner, but the Seahawks defense is a stiff test for running games, especially for those teams without great run blocking.

2016 Week 17 vs GB (20 / 69 / 1 rush, 5 / 4 / 41 / 0 rec)

Zenner was incredibly effective on Sunday in the first half touching the ball 19 times and registering 100 total yards and a score. Zenner continues to display great vision and the ability to maximize the yardage available on most of his runs as he falls forward and takes everything that is there. He was a huge part of the offense in the first half as he had some big runs of 14 and 15 yards. He made defenders miss to gain first downs and ran hard throughout the game. Zenner scored on a one-yard plunge in the first half and did a good job of keeping the chains moving which took the ball out of the Packers hands. Zenner was targeted four times in the first half, catching three passes for 35 yards. Much like last week versus Dallas, the Lions completely abandoned the run in the second half as Zenner only touched the ball five times in the second half and only once in the fourth quarter. The Lions continue to be unreliable from a volume standpoint with Zenner as they choose to be one dimensional even when Zenner is doing good things on offense. Zenner had a solid game overall and continues to show why he should be a part of this offense going forward.

2016 Week 16 vs DAL (12 / 67 / 2 rush, 3 / 2 / 25 / 0 rec)

Zenner was incredibly effective on Monday night as he showed great vision and patience throughout the game as a runner and a receiver. Interestingly, Zenner had 12 total carries in the game but 10 came in the first half. Zenner tallied 64 yards on his 10 first-half carries and scored twice in the first half. He also caught both of his targets and totaled 25 yards receiving in the first half. Zenner had 3 yards on his two carries in the second half and was targeted once in the screen game but the ball was batted down at the line of scrimmage. Zenner's first carry went for 20 yards and he displayed great patience and vision, and he was helped by a solid scheme and good blocking as the Lions trapped the defensive end who came too far up the field as Zenner ran between him and the guard into space. Zenner runs with very good pad level and power and when the Lions allowed him to get through a hole without contact he gave the Cowboys fits as he was tough to bring down and always fell forward gaining that extra little bit of yardage on every play. Zenner scored on a seven-yard touchdown on another play that allowed the defensive end (Randy Gregory) to aggressively come up the field. Zenner ran into that opening and showed great vision to cut the ball outside and he ran untouched into the end zone. Zenner continued to show great patience and vision in the first half and scored on another run, this one coming from five yards out. Zenner got through the right side of the line of scrimmage untouched and fell forwards near the goal line and got just enough the score the touchdown. Zenner isn't an electric runner and looks like a plodder but he gets the job done and played a very good game in Dallas on Monday night.

2016 Week 15 vs NYG (3 / 12 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 52 / 0 rec)

Zenner's first carry of the day came in the red zone and went for seven yards but he fumbled as Giants safety Leon Hall put his helmet right on the ball and jarred it out. The ball was fumbled at the four yard line and recovered five yards deep in the end zone by Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon. It was a devastating play for the Loins hopes in this game but Hall deserves credit for making a great play. Zenner had two more carries total for a total of five yards. He was targeted five times in the passing game and caught four balls that went for 52 yards, 33 of them coming on a screen pass on the last play if the game as the Giants were in prevent defense. Zenner was used in the screen game as the Loins were missing running back Theo Riddick and he caught two screen passes that went for four yards and another that went for seven yards.

2016 Week 14 vs CHI (7 / 36 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)

Zenner runs at an entirely different pace than Washington and it takes him a split-second longer to hit the hole, but that also allows the blockers to get set up in front of him and at times his physical approach allows for better running lanes. He wasn't nearly as involved as Washington on Sunday, but he did take advantage of the limited opportunity that came his way. The Lions did not run the ball well in the first half but ran it extremely well (for them) in the second half. Zenner had three carries for six yards in the first half but went for 30 yards on four carries in the second half. He had runs of 13 and 11 yards in th3 second half and helped to keep the chains moving. Zenner was targeted twice and caught both passes for nine yards.

2016 Week 13 vs NO (9 / 40 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Zenner came in at the 6:15 mark of the third quarter replacing an injured Washington and was immediately effective on quick hitting, decisive runs through the middle of the Saints defense. Zenner gets downhill extremely quick and carries bodies into the second level to gain yardage as a runner. He immediately made his carries count as he hit the Saints for two gains of nine yards, an eight-yard run, a five-yard gain and another for six yards. Zenner ran hard and finished with nine carries that went for 40 yards.

2016 Week 7 vs WAS (9 / 29 / 1 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Zenner started the football game and split the workload for the Lions as a runner with running back Justin Forsett. The Lions came out getting chunks of yardage early in the running game as Zenner had carries of eight and nine yards early in this contest. The Lions tried to get Zenner to the edge but he can't get there quick enough and those runs got stopped before they get started. The Lions set up a screen with Zenner flaring out to the right but Stafford got a little quick with the throw and threw sidearm with the ball falling out in front of Zenner. Linebacker Will Compton blew up a 3rd-and-1 play and gave Zenner nowhere to run with the ball and Zenner lost two yards on the play. Zenner did get a red zone carry as the Lions lined him up as a fullback and handed the ball to him quickly and he scored from one yard out. He finished working very hard and running the ball with great effort, but was limited from a touch perspective and the Lions inability to effectively block and run the ball.

2016 Week 6 vs LA (14 / 58 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 19 / 0 rec)

Zenner started the football game and carried the main workload for the Lions as a runner. The Lions did help him with a lead fullback at times, and they went heavy at times with an extra offensive tackle to give him a little runway to get up to speed. The Lions also got creative at times, motioning a receiver and faking a reverse while handing the ball to Zenner going the other way. Zenner's first carry of the game went for 15 yards on this type of play. Zenner took what the defense gave him, getting north and south in a hurry, but the majority of the time he had very little room to operate between the tackles. He caught a pass in the first half and showed nice lateral quickness to make defensive back Mark Barron miss, taking the screen pass for 15 yards. Zenner had a goal-line carry that was stuffed by linebacker Alec Ogletree that went for a loss of three yards. He was also stuffed behind the line of scrimmage for a three-yard loss as defensive lineman William Hayes buried Lions guard Graham Glasgow as he has pulling, and the pile of bodies gave nowhere for Zenner to set his feet. The Lions caught on to what the Rams were doing up front and on a draw play they allowed the defensive ends to get aggressively up the field as Zenner got the delayed draw. He hit the hole quickly and took the ball into the second level for 19 yards. The Lions had a hard time blocking the interior and there wasn't a lot of room to run and they tried sweep tosses to get Zenner to the edge of the defense. While watching Zenner, something stands out, and it is the fact that while he runs hard and with good pad level, there are times when he's fighting for yards that he gets upright and exposes his body and takes gigantic hits. This happened multiple times in this game and he'll have to do a better job of protecting himself going forward.

2016 Week 5 vs PHI (7 / 9 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 23 / 0 rec)

Zenner entered the game as a change of pace for the more elusive Riddick and saw most of his work come on runs between the tackles. He had multiple carries go for negative yards and offset the negative yards with short gains, but he really had no room to run as plays were getting snuffed out before they started in the backfield. Eagles defenders Marcus Smith and Brandon Graham both got to Zenner behind the line of scrimmage on two separate plays, stopping him negative yardage. Zenner tallied nine yards on seven carries. His biggest play of the day came on a screen that came against the action of the play, and went for 19 yards. Zenner caught both targets in the game.

2016 Week 4 vs CHI (3 / 12 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 22 / 0 rec)

Zenner entered the game after Washington was injured and saw very limited action because of how the game played out. He did have a red zone touch as he got a carry on third and goal from the one yard line. Bears linebacker John Timu made a great play, blitzing through the open A gap and blowing up the play before it got started and forcing a two yard loss. Zenner caught a screen pass and showed some speed, beating the linebacker and turning the corner for a 22-yard gain helping the Lions to move off of their goal line. He also had another carry that went for 11 yards, showing quickness and good vision while getting the ball north and south in a hurry. Zenner is also a nice alternative as a between the tackles runner and can be productive in the right scenario.

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