Sam LaPorta Injury Update: Latest News on the Lions’ Star TE

Sam LaPorta has been a revelation for the Detroit Lions as a rookie. But a potential knee injury puts his playoff status in question.

Sam LaPorta took a Jared Goff pass on 3rd-and-5 for a first down but remained on the ground after being tackled. What do we know about LaPorta’s injury, and what would this mean for the Detroit Lions heading into the playoffs?

Sam LaPorta Injury Update

Few players have shined as rookies the way that Sam LaPorta has. In fact, he’s in a class of Mike Ditka and Rob Gronkowski regarding rookie TE performance, a position with often underwhelming production early on. But LaPorta amassed 10 TDs this season, marking one of the best rookie seasons in history at the position.

But as LaPorta went to the turf, he was spun around and his knee got caught in the turf as Harrison Smith joined in on the tackle.

The Lions quickly listed him as questionable to return with a knee designation, but later updated his status. He will not return for the rest of the game.

Campbell told reporters that LaPorta suffered a hyperextended knee and a bone bruise. He’ll likely have to miss some time with the injury, which is bad news for the Lions’ offense.

Did Dan Campbell Get Too Greedy?

The Detroit Lions weren’t locked into the No. 3 seed in the NFC, but they’re likely to remain there considering Dallas plays the Washington Commanders in the afternoon. Usually, a home-field advantage going from dome to dome wouldn’t be worth risking the health of players in Week 18. The game is relatively meaningless in the grand scheme.

No matter the outcome of their game or Dallas’s, the Lions will be avoiding San Francisco in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, should they get through the Wild Card Round. But it makes sense for Campbell to play his starters if only because the Cowboys have been so good at home and far more underwhelming on the road.

MORE: Detroit Lions Depth Chart

But then there’s weighing the risk vs. reward of playing your starting QB, stud TE, and star WR. Campbell isn’t the type to back down from a fight if there’s any chance to improve his team’s standing, and that possibility exists.

Campbell’s decision will be scrutinized all week, and the ferociousness of vitriol will undoubtedly come down to LaPorta’s status for the Wild Card Round, and the Lions’ outcome in that contest.

History-Making Rookie Season

LaPorta set an NFL record for rookie TEs when he caught his 82nd pass of the season in the first quarter against the Vikings. That reception landed him in the end zone, making him only the third player at his position to score double-digit touchdowns as a rookie.

The second-round pick out of the University of Iowa was the next in a TE pipeline that includes names like T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, George Kittle, and Dallas Clark.

The position isn’t often featured in NFL offenses, which usually opt to attack space near the numbers. In the end, wide receiver targets are more efficient. But Jared Goff and Ben Johnson love attacking the middle of the field, even with their star wide receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown. So adding LaPorta as a complement was a fair haul, and he has made everyone involved happy.

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Join the Conversation!

Related Articles