Big spot Rocky McIntosh

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Rocky McIntosh doesn't see many plays on defense. The fourth linebacker on a team that predominantly plays nickel defense, the veteran from Miami, Fla., gets into the game in very specific scenarios.

But over the past three games, when he's been in, he's made the play.

He played three snaps against Dallas and made one tackle, had one snap -- and one tackle -- against Chicago and seven snaps and two tackles against Pittsburgh. That's a pretty high rate of tackle-to-snap.

"I've played a while, so nothing really comes as a surprise," McIntosh said. "So just go out there and do what you've got to do.

"I just think with experience comes a reaction when you're out there playing and just go out there and make plays. You can narrow down what they are going to run, you're able to see what is going to happen and recognize the personnel that's in the game."

Here's where the clutch factor comes in. He made a key third down stop against Pittsburgh in the third quarter last Sunday, stopping Le'Veon Bell for a 2-yard loss.

Against Chicago, he stopped running back Michael Bush on 4th-and-1 for no gain, resulting in a turnover.

So how did he manage that?

"Just being around, studying," McIntosh said. "Just playing the game. Playing the game within the game."

All of this in a season where McIntosh has played far less than he has in any other year. He signed with the Lions this preseason to provide depth at linebacker and has played 19 total defensive snaps. His previous career-low in snaps is 431 last year for St. Louis.

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