The Detroit Lions placed rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson on injured reserve, the team announced Monday.
Hockenson injured his ankle during the fourth quarter of the Lions’ 24-20 loss to the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving Day. The 22-year-old was spotted in a protective boot after the game.
Selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, Hockenson enjoyed quite the debut with six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in Detroit’s 27-27 season-opening tie against Arizona on Sept. 8.
Hockenson finishes the season with 32 receptions for 367 yards and two touchdowns for the Lions (3-8-1), who have Jesse James, Logan Thomas and rookie Isaac Nauta as their other tight ends on the roster.
“Certainly, I think a guy that was consistent from Day 1,” Lions head coach Matt Patricia said Monday of Hockenson. “Someone that worked really hard. I think he improved as the spring to training camp and season came along.
“He worked really hard at his task and understanding some of the differences between the college game and pro game and some different looks he was going to see, especially after early in the season when I think, obviously (he had) a lot of production, a lot of snaps. We knew things were going to change for him from that standpoint.”