Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell made the executive decision to play his starters in the Week 18 finale even though the Lions had already won the NFC North. It appeared Detroit wanted to get the bad taste out of its mouth after the controversial loss to the Dallas Cowboys before the postseason, but playing your starters means you run the risk of one of your most important players being injured. Unfortunately, that’s what happened in the second quarter on Sunday.
After reeling in a pass from quarterback Jared Goff, rookie tight end Sam LaPorta was slow to get up. He was holding his left knee while being attended to by trainers, and was eventually carted to the locker room. The Lions officially ruled LaPorta out for the rest of the game.
Check out what happened here:
Following the game, coach Campbell said that LaPorta’s injury isn’t as bad as it looked, and that they will know more tomorrow after further testing, per Tim Twentyman.
In the first quarter, LaPorta caught a touchdown that marked his 82nd catch of the season. That broke the NFL’s rookie tight end reception record. The Iowa product entered Week 18 with 860 yards and nine touchdowns on 81 receptions. If he suffered a serious knee injury, it would be a massive blow to Detroit’s talented offense.