Detroit Lions, Sam LaPorta
Sam LaPorta #87 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after a touchdown during the first quarter in the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on January 07, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. This receptions breaks the rookie tight end record for receptions in a season. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

Lions Rookie Caps Season by Setting NFL Record, But at a Price

It has been a historic rookie season for Sam LaPorta, and in the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings, the Lions tight end etched his name into the NFL record book.

With 8:10 remaining in the first quarter, the Lions' Pro Bowl tight end slipped to the turf before getting back up and finding an opening in the Vikings' secondary in the end zone to pull down a two-yard touchdown reception.

The score was LaPorta's 10th of the season and his 82nd catch, setting the NFL record for total receptions in a season, .


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The Lions still have an outside chance at the No. 2 seed in the NFC if they beat the Vikings, combined with the Dallas Cowboys falling to the Washington Commanders and the Philadelphia Eagles losing to the New York Giants.

However, head coach Dan Campbell and the Lions' decision to play LaPorta in a game that might have minimal impact on Detroit's playoff seeding came at a price.

Inside of 2:00 remaining in the first half, LaPorta crumbled to the Ford Field turf grabbing his knee. If LaPorta is forced to miss any time during the postseason, it would deal a significant blow to a Lions offense that he has become a focal point of.

LaPorta was able to walk off the field under his own power, but was carted back into the Lions' locker room shortly before halftime. After LaPorta was injured, it seemed that much of the Lions' momentum seemed to stall and a pall was cast over a previously raucous Ford Field crowd.

Since being chosen by the Lions with the No. 34 overall pick in the second-round of the 2023 NFL Draft, LaPorta caught 86 passes for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns.

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