Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta only needed one season to etch his name into the annals of NFL history.
LaPorta on Sunday got Detroit off to a hot start with a touchdown catch with about 8 minutes left to play in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings. The catch helped him set a record for most receptions for a rookie tight end.
The touchdown catch was his 82nd of the season.
He left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury. He was able to walk off the field under his own power. He had five catches for 29 yards when he left.
LaPorta, who was recently named to the Pro Bowl, was selected in the second round, No. 34 overall, in the 2023 draft. He became one of Jared Goff’s favorite targets over the course of the year.
Coming in against the Vikings, he had 81 catches for 860 yards and nine touchdown catches. He was tied for the team lead for touchdown catches with Amon-Ra St. Brown. The touchdown catch Sunday marked the 10th of his season.
LaPorta was a standout tight end at Iowa before he turned pro. He finished his collegiate career with 153 catches for 1,786 yards and five touchdowns. Iowa hasn’t been known for having a potent offense in recent years, but has produced some solid tight ends in George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson, Dallas Clark and Noah Fant, among others.
LaPorta appears to be on the trajectory of being another great Hawkeyes pro.
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