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The Snap Count Story - Week 18

Collins gets most work of season against Seahawks 

Zaven Collins is, if he has to be listed as something, an outside linebacker. But "I've played a lot of different positions," Collins said after Sunday's finale against the Seahawks. "It's not just truly coming off the edge every time. Today I was in an old school Cover-2 type of coverage, and I was also playing a shade on the center. I'm kind of all over the field."

Collins will have another offseason to work on his craft, but defensive coordinator Nick Rallis liked what Collins was doing well enough to play him a season-high 49 snaps against Seattle on Sunday, 89 percent of the 55 defensive snaps the Cardinals played. That percentage was by far Collins' largest of the season. 

Rookie BJ Ojulari also played a ton among outside linebackers (40), followed by Dennis Gardeck (28) and Victor Dimukeje (13). Tyreke Smith (2) and Jesse Luketa (1) barely played defense, and it's noteworthy Cameron Thomas was a healthy scratch the final two games. 

The defensive 100 percent club was safeties Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson, cornerbacks Antonio Hamilton and Starling Thomas V, and inside linebacker Krys Barnes. It's noteworthy that no other cornerbacks played defensive snaps; Thompson moved to slot and safety Andre Chachere (47 snaps) played his most since a Week 7 start.

Rookie Owen Pappoe got in 29 snaps at inside linebacker as his playing time continued to be steady over the last month after a season of special teams only (and injuries to Kyzir White and Josh Woods.)

On the defensive line, Roy Lopez (29) led the way, followed by Phil Hoskins (28), Ben Stille (23), Naquan Jones (21) and Leki Fotu, who had 19 snaps in his first game after missing five. 

It's interesting to note that wide receiver Greg Dortch has played more snaps than Rondale Moore in six of the last seven games; Dortch played 47 on Sunday and Moore 40, both trailing Michael Wilson (58). Zach Pascal was in for 19.

At tight end, burgeoning star Trey McBride played 68, with Elijah Higgins in for 27 and rookie Travis Vokolek, the new blocking TE, had 21. 

At running back, James Conner was at 50 snaps (52 to be exact of 70 total) for a second straight game, the fourth time he crossed that total this season. Michael Carter (9) and Emari Demercado (7) played less as Conner made his bid for 1,000 yards. 

On the offensive line, Elijah Wilkinson started at left guard but again ceded snaps to Trystan Colon (56 for Wilkinson, 14 for Colon.) Rookie tackle Paris Johnson Jr. completed the season playing every offensive snap for the Cardinals.

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zaven Collins (25) during the Week 18 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Jan 7, 2024 at State Farm Stadium.