One of the few teams that have been able to live up to the hype during the 2023 NFL regular season was the Detroit Lions, who were riding high throughout this season, paving their way to a franchise-tying 12 wins.
With the Lions clinching the No. 3 seed in the NFC, Jared Goff and company will take on the upstart Los Angeles Rams in what could be an all-out battle between two teams that want to make a statement in the postseason.
Unfortunately for Detroit, the team may have lost one of their best offensive weapons, with rookie tight end Sam LaPorta suffering a knee injury that has jeopardized his status to play in next week’s game against the Rams on Wild Card Weekend.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, LaPorta, one of the best offensive rookies in the league this season, suffered a hyperextended knee and bone bruise.
#Lions Pro Bowl TE Sam LaPorta suffered a hyperextended knee and a bone bruise, source said after the MRI. He’s likely to miss some time, but as coach Dan Campbell said, not as bad as it could’ve been.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 7, 2024
Head coach Dan Campbell addressed the media and said, “It’s not as bad as it looked, but it’s not good news.”
Injury updates on Sam LaPorta and Kalif Raymond pic.twitter.com/DRCtfSTyIs
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 7, 2024
Before going down with the injury in the regular-season finale against the division-rival Minnesota Vikings, LaPorta caught five passes for 29 yards and a touchdown on Sunday in Week 18.
If LaPorta’s season is officially over, he put on a show during the regular season, catching 86 passes for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns while becoming one of Goff’s favorite targets in the passing game.
Losing LaPorta is a pretty big blow to the Lions’ offense, which they likely won’t be able to replace when they take on the Rams in the win-or-go-home scenario.
It’ll be interesting to see how the loss to LaPorta impacts Detroit and whether it turns out to be too costly for the Lions in the playoffs.
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