Tight end T.J. Hockenson’s rookie season is over.
The Detroit Lions have placed their first-round pick on season-ending injured reserve after he suffered an ankle injury late in the loss to Chicago on Thanksgiving.
The Lions made Hockenson the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft. He had a huge debut Week 1 in Arizona with six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. His play was up and down from there, but he still led all rookie tight ends in receptions through Week 13.
He ends the year with 32 catches for 367 yards and two touchdowns.
“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, early in the year. We knew things were going to change for him from that standpoint.”
Patricia said he liked the way Hockenson worked and developed his game in a difficult position (tight end) for young players to come in and have a lot of success.
The hope is Hockenson continues to develop, and takes a big leap in production we often see in players from year one to year two.