Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie got no veteran’s dispensation from the Detroit Lions. The 31-year-old cornerback led the team with 11 tackles in the 24-10 loss, but he wouldn’t have minded a little less action.
“They kept running at me,” DRC said after the game. “I went over to their sideline and told their coach, ‘You gotta cut that out, man. For real.’”
Rodgers-Cromartie normally plays a lot fewer snaps than he did Monday night, but because of injuries that jostled the starting defense, he was on the field for most of the game. Starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins missed the game with an ankle injury and starting middle linebacker B.J. Goodson was out with a shin injury.
“It’s a next-man mentality,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “You gotta have it. We lost two of our blocks, but at the end of the day, the one thing I know about 8:30 on Monday night is that ball’s gotta be kicked off. We can’t worry about that. We have to have that next-man mentality. I’m proud of the guys who stepped in there, man. They did their job.”
That included rookie Calvin Munson, who made his first career start in place of Goodson and had a sack and seven tackles.
“I’m very proud of him,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “Making checks, running around, hitting. You almost forget that he’s still a rookie. He went out there and played.”
So did Rodgers-Cromartie. More than he probably hoped he would have to.