The Green Bay Packers have yet to put good use to the prolific blocking and consistent pass-catching shown by tight end Marcedes Lewis over his 13-year NFL career.
The Packers signed Lewis in May to sure up the back up tight end position behind Jimmy Graham. He is a more proven and willing blocker than Graham and was supposed to add a new element to the offense. However, so far in 2018, Lewis has failed to make much of an impact. In fact, he’s hardly seen the field.
Through three games, Lewis has played 29 snaps on offense. To put that into perspective, last season the lowest snap count he had for any game was 37.
Green Bay failing to use Lewis in any package consistently is a major disservice to the offense. Per Pro Football Focus, he graded as the number one run-blocking tight end in 2017 yet his current run block snap count sits at 15. Green Bay’s rushing offense has had a slow start to the season as it ranks 24th in the NFL.
Lewis signed a cap friendly one-year $2.1 million deal this offseason, but that doesn’t mean he should be buried on the depth chart.
On the surface, it appears Mike McCarthy and the coaches have really limited his role in the game plan and it’s hurt their ability to move the ball. Lewis may be a run-blocking specialist, but he’s proven to be a sure-handed option when throwing the ball. In seven snaps as a receiver, he has seen only one target.
There’s time for Green Bay to figure out the best way to use Lewis, but not having him on the field doesn’t make much sense at this point. He’s a former Pro-Bowler whose done nothing but produce over a long career. A lack of early opportunity would hurt the Packers should they have to lean more on Lewis later in the year.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.