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NOTEBOOK: 'Lucky Charms' Oruwariye finding his way to the football

Cornerback Amani Oruwariye's teammates in the secondary have a new nickname for him.

"We call him Lucky Charms around here because, hey, plays come to him, they just fall right in his lap," safety Tracy Walker said of Oruwariye with a laugh this week.

Oruwariye has had some interceptions thrown right him this year, but he likes to think of it as being in the right place at the right time, and had some words of his own for Walker.

"I call him Butters Walker," Oruwariye said. "If you see him around call him Butters Walker. You know how butter is real slick, his hands are real slick, he has a hard time catching it, so I call him Butters Walker."

It's all in good fun in that room, and Walker certainly can't say Oruwariye didn't work for his latest interception last week against Chicago when he undercut a deep ball in the end zone perfectly and made a terrific catch away from his body to prevent a score.

It was the fifth interception of the year for Oruwariye, which leads the team and is a single-season career high. His five picks rank third in the NFL behind only Trevon Diggs (8) and J.C. Jackson (7). Oruwariye said Thursday that ties the most interceptions he's ever had in a season playing football. He also had five interceptions as a sophomore in high school.

He is one of just three NFL cornerbacks with at least five interceptions this season. No other corner has more than three.

Oruwariye has also defended nine passes, while opposing passers have a 69.8 passer rating when throwing his way. He's given up just two touchdowns in 11 games.

"Whatever we can do to get the ball to our offense, I'll take it," he said. "If that means calling me Lucky Charms, call me Lucky Charms. The ball has been finding me and I'm just making sure I secure it every single time."

Fans have taken notice of his good play, as he is currently 10th in Pro Bowl voting among cornerbacks.

"It's an honor to even have my name mentioned in that," Oruwariye said of the voting. "I definitely worked my tail off to try to get to that point, but there's so much farther to go. I feel like my ceiling is the sky."

Takeaways will be at a premium for Oruwariye and his defensive teammates this week. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has thrown only three interceptions all year vs. 23 touchdowns. Minnesota has just eight giveaways on the season, the second fewest in the league.


The Lions elevated practice squad kicker Aldrick Rosas to handle their kicking duties in Cleveland Week 11 after signing Riley Patterson to the active roster and Rosas to the practice squad during the week after releasing Ryan Santoso. Rosas made his only field goal attempt from 43 yards and hit an extra point as well against the Browns.

It was Patterson who kicked Week 12 against the Bears. Patterson didn't attempt a field goal, but made both of his extra point attempts.

It appears this could be a week-to-week occurrence at kicker based on who has the better week of practice.

"We'll just see how it goes," special teams coordinator Dave Fipp said. "Obviously the first game we went with Rosas and this last game we went Patterson. We're kind of seeing both kickers this week and will make a decision later in the week.

"We feel really good about both these guys so far. Both of them have done a nice job. So, we'll just kind of see how it goes and who we think is best going into this one."


It's been three weeks since head coach Dan Campbell took over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. In doing so, the Lions also changed up some responsibilities of other offensive coaches. Tight ends coach Ben Johnson is handling more of the passing game now, while Lynn is working more with the run game and protections.

Lynn's done a nice job the last few weeks with the run game, and he said Thursday he's settling into his new role.

"A few weeks going into this thing, knowing what Dan wants trying to assist him the best I can," Lynn said. "I'm very comfortable with the role, don't mistake comfortable with liking the role, but yeah, very comfortable with the role, and I'll help assist Dan the best I can."

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