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51 Jahlani Tavai OLB

Detroit Lions

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January 7, 2021 07:20 PM
Lions' Jahlani Tavai: Exposed in expanded role
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Tavai produced 58 tackles and two forced fumbles over 16 games in 2020.

Despite staying relatively healthy most of the year, Tavai massively failed to take advantage of the opportunity left behind by Jarrad Davis, a 2018 first-round pick whose passing-game limitations rendered him a role player in 2020. Tavai, a 2019 second-rounder (but arguable reach), has all but certainly proved to be even less effective in pass coverage while given every chance to assert himself as Detroit's middle linebacker of the future this season. While there's a chance that the sinking ship that was Detroit's defense in 2020 -- the Lions gave up franchise-worst marks in points (519) and yards allowed (6,978) -- simply brought Tavai down with it, the apparent lack of speed in the Hawaii product harbors concern that Tavai might not be an every-down linebacker in the NFL.

June 30, 2020 11:24 PM
Lions' Jahlani Tavai: Set for sophomore season
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Tavai (shoulder) could push Jarrad Davis for reps at middle linebacker in training camp, Tim Twentyman of the Lions official site reports.

Tavai had a solid rookie campaign with 58 total tackles, two sacks, one interception and one forced fumble, though he missed the season finale after picking up a shoulder injury. The Lions declined Davis' fifth-year option for 2021 this spring, so Tavai could make a push for the starting job with a strong showing in camp.

December 23, 2019 02:44 PM
Lions' Jahlani Tavai: Heading to injured reserve
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Tavai (shoulder) was placed on injured reserve Monday, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Tavai sustained the injury during Sunday's loss to the Broncos and will miss the season finale. The severity of the injury remains unclear, but per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the injury is to the same side as the injury that limited the 23-year-old during his senior season at Hawaii.

December 22, 2019 07:12 PM
Lions' Jahlani Tavai: Done for day
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Tavai (shoulder) won't return to Sunday's game against the Broncos.

The rookie second-rounder finishes the contest with three solo tackles. It's unsettled whether this injury could keep him out of the season finale against the Packers, but we'll have a better grasp on his status when practices start Wednesday.

December 22, 2019 05:12 PM
Lions' Jahlani Tavai: Picks up injury
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Tavai (shoulder) is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Broncos.

The specifics surrounding the injury remain unclear, but he was forced to leave the game in the second quarter. As long as Tavai is out, Jason Cabinda would be in line to see an uptick in snaps at the middle linebacker position.

December 15, 2019 12:12 PM
Lions' Jahlani Tavai: Slated to start
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Tavai is expected to start at middle linebacker in Jarrad Davis' (ankle/knee) place, Justin Rogers of The Detroit News reports.

Davis is on injured reserve, so this is a chance for Tavai -- a rookie second-round pick -- to prove what he can do in a starting role. Tavai has already performed well this season, recording 50 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble over 13 games.

November 12, 2019 08:28 PM
Lions' Jahlani Tavai: Gets second sack of season
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Tavai recorded three solo tackles and one sack in Sunday's loss to the Bears.

The rookie second-rounder did not start but still received a sizable 38 defensive snaps, third to only Jarrad Davis (44) and Christian Jones (41). Tavai's numbers were not eye-popping against the Bears, but it is clear by his snap count that he is becoming more involved in Detroit's defensive scheme. The Lions' linebackers will face a major test in Week 11 against the Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott.

November 5, 2019 07:48 PM
Lions' Jahlani Tavai: New career high in tackles
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Tavai put up 10 tackles and one pass breakup during Sunday's 31-24 loss to the Raiders.

Tavai (48 defensive snaps) saw a lot of action as the fourth linebacker behind Jarrad Davis (65), Devon Kennard (63) and Christian Jones (54). Especially after trading strong safety Quandre Diggs, the Lions should have plenty of snaps to give Tavai down the stretch, and his role could expand if injuries strike any of the players above him on the depth chart.

September 9, 2019 11:40 AM
Lions' Jahlani Tavai: Gets spot start at MLB
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Tavai registered three tackles and a sack during Sunday's 27-27 tie with the Cardinals.

Tavai got the start at middle linebacker in the place of Jarrad Davis (ankle), but he made plenty of rookie mistakes along the way and didn't even approach the 6.3 tackles per game Davis averaged in the role last year. While it might be safer to prioritize the other starting linebackers as long as Davis remains sidelined, neither Devon Kennard or Christian Jones figure have the tackle upside of a 4-3 middle linebacker.

July 25, 2019 04:44 PM
Lions' Jahlani Tavai: Taking first-team reps
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Tavai took reps with the first-team defense during the first day of training camp Thursday, Chris Burke of The Athletic reports.

Tavai worked alongside Jarrad Davis and Devon Kennard, presumably operating as an outside linebacker after seeing reps at middle linebacker in spring workouts. As long as Davis stays healthy, it's highly unlikely Tavai will ever shift over to MLB. However, it's worth keeping in mind that Detroit's offseason experimentation with him at that spot might mean Tavai will slide over to the inside if Davis is ever bitten by the injury bug.

May 23, 2019 11:48 AM
Lions' Jahlani Tavai: Initially operating at MLB
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Tavai (shoulder) is operating as a middle linebacker during the first week of OTAs, Chris Burke of The Athletic reports.

Showing no signs of the pre-draft shoulder surgery he underwent this spring, Tavai has essentially been operating as the backup to Jarrad Davis off the bat -- instead of at one of the outside linebacker spots next to him. The Lions likely didn't spend a second-round pick on the Hawaii product without bigger plans, though, so it could only be a matter of time until Tavai earns a regular role with the first-teamers. Such a situation would likely come at the expense of Christian Jones and Jalen Reeves-Maybin rather than Devon Kennard, who's entering the second season of a lucrative three-year, $17.5 million pact that the former Giant signed last offseason.

April 27, 2019 12:20 AM
Jahlani Tavai: Heading from Hawaii to Detroit
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

The Lions selected Tavai in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, 43rd overall.

The Hawaii product is a tackling machine who notched two seasons with at least 120 tackles and he would have reached that mark again in 2018 if not for an injury. Tavai's shoulder injury kept him from posting official workout numbers but it's clear the Lions are confident that it won't be an issue long term. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Tavai will be playing linebacker in a 4-3 scheme in Detroit, but it's unclear if he'll supplant Jarrad Davis in the middle or kick to an outside spot.

Fantasy Points By Week

















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Game Log
Sun 09/13vs CHIL 23-2731400000
Sun 09/20@ GBL 21-4233600000
Sun 09/27@ ARIW 26-2311200000
Sun 10/04vs NOL 29-3500000000
Sun 10/25@ ATLW 23-2222400000
Sun 11/01vs INDL 21-4104400000
Sun 11/08@ MINL 20-3400000000
Sun 11/15vs WASW 30-2710100000
Sun 11/22@ CARL 0-2022400000
Thu 11/26vs HOUL 25-4111200000
Sun 12/06@ CHIW 34-3032500000
Sun 12/13vs GBL 24-3121300000
Sun 12/20@ TENL 25-4613400000
Sat 12/26vs TBL 7-4732500000
Sun 01/03vs MINL 35-37831100020
Career Defensive Stats
Total3116116 69.047 212202

Player Info

Inglewood, CA
NFL Experience: