Lions’ Sam LaPorta Carted to Locker Room After Knee Injury vs. Vikings

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Nic Antaya/Getty ImagesDetroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta has an “outside chance” of playing in Sunday night’s playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams after suffering a knee injury during Week 18, head coach Dan Campbell told reporters on Monday.

After Detriot’s 30-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, Campbell told reporters that LaPorta’s injury was “not as bad as it looked.”

“It’s not as bad as it looked, but it’s not good news,” Campbell said, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday that LaPorta suffered a hyperextended knee and a bone bruise.

LaPorta had five receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown prior to exiting.

FOX Sports: NFL @NFLonFOXWhat a rookie season for Sam LaPorta 👏

His 10th TD reception of the year!

📺: FOX

He was ultimately ruled out after being carted off the field.

The rookie pass-catcher was named to his first Pro Bowl this week. Through 17 weeks, his 860 receiving yards were the third-most of any 2023 draftee, and he was tied with the Minnesota Vikings’ Jordan Addison for first in touchdown receptions (nine).

LaPorta has been especially effective inside the red zone, an area of the field where seven of his 10 catches were touchdowns.

Losing the 22-year-old won’t be too costly for the Lions in Week 18. Thanks to their controversial loss to the Dallas Cowboys, they were basically locked into the No. 3 seed in the NFC regardless of whether they beat Minnesota.

LaPorta’s absence would have a much larger impact in the playoffs.

David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs have formed a potent combo on the ground, while Amon-Ra St. Brown put together his second straight 1,000-yard season. Plenty of players deserve credit for Detroit averaging the third-most yards (395.7) entering Sunday.

But there simply isn’t another replacement for LaPorta at tight end who can provide what he delivers. Compounding matters, backup Brock Wright has now missed three straight games due to a hip issue. Third-stringer James Mitchell has been targeted just once all year.

LaPorta’s injury puts a damper on Sunday’s regular-season finale.


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