The Lions have placed rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson on injured reserve according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Hockenson was spotted on crutches after the team’s loss to the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving Day and later traded those crutches for a walking boot and a scooter after suffering an ankle injury.
Birkett reports that the rookie has been playing in pain for weeks and, with the Lions’ season essentially over, the decision was made to shut him down for the season.
The No.8-overall pick in the 2019 draft out of the University of Iowa, Hockenson stormed out of the gates by catching 6-of-9 targets for 131 yards and a touchdown in his Week 1 NFL debut but has struggled to see consistent targets since.
He will end his rookie season with 32 catches for 367 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games but has only exceeded 50 yards in one game since Week 1. The Lions will move forward with Jesse James and Logan Thomas as their top two tight ends.