The Detroit Lions have placed rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson on injured reserve, head coach Matt Patricia announced during his press conference on Monday. The first rounder's season comes to a close due to an ankle injury he suffered late in Detroit's Thanksgiving loss to the Bears.
Hockenson was selected with the No. 8 overall pick at the 2019 NFL Draft out of Iowa and showed flashes of his potential over the course of his rookie season, but there were also some inconsistencies. He came out of the gate strong in his NFL debut against the Cardinals, catching six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. Those 131 yards receiving set an NFL record for a tight end in his debut. Those totals did represent the bulk of his production on the year as he finished with 32 receptions for 367 yards and two scores.
"I think he improved as spring, training camp and the season went on," Patricia said of Hockenson when asked to recap his rookie season. "I think he worked really hard at his task and understand the differences between the college game and the pro game and some of the different looks that he was going to see."
He added: "Something to hope we build on. We know how difficult it is to make the jump from Year 1 to Year 2, but for him right now it's day-by-day just trying to work through the injury situation and try to get better."