T.J. Hockenson sustained an injury that ended up looking way worse than it was when he attempted a hurdle and then smashed into the Ford Field turf quite violently as the Detroit Lions played the Kansas City Chiefs last week.
Hockenson and the Lions may have gotten lucky that the tight end simply ended up in concussion protocol and not in the hospital for multiple weeks, and NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger wants Hockenson and other players to be more careful with the hurdle as a result. The former NFL player thinks Hockenson’s injury should prove to represent a cautionary tale for those looking to use a similar move on the field.
On Twitter, Baldinger broke down the play and said in his estimation, Hockenson did show off his athleticism, even as the move was questionable and scary.
“I don’t know if he’s out cold, I don’t know if he knocked himself out. I don’t know. I just know is it’s a bad look,” Baldinger said. “A lot of players are doing this. (Todd) Gurley, (Alvin) Kamara, a bunch of guys are doing it in the league. Man that can happen. I don’t want to see any players go out of the game unnecessarily because of that. There’s no way you can hang onto the ball and protect yourself all the time by jumping. Let’s not do it.”
Matt Patricia’s Take on Hurdling
Hockenson’s move to show off the hurdle may have been a rookie mistake in terms of execution seeing as it cost him in the form of a hard slam into the turf. When asked about the play after the game, Matt Patricia seemed to agree with Baldinger’s take on the play, saying he would prefer if players were more careful with the hurdle when attempting such moves on the field.
“I would say that would be a very fair assessment. That we got to be very careful when you do leap and you do go up in the air, there’s an added risk that’s involved in the play,” Patricia told the media. “A lot of times, those guys take real calculated risks in those situations. Sometimes it’s something we’ve seen on tape maybe previously, an opportunity, maybe a guy goes low. In that particular situation, we’re trying to keep the players as safe as possible.”
Perhaps this was a painful lesson that will help Hockenson moving forward.
More Good Health News for Hockenson
The even better news? Hockenson seems to be doing alright in the aftermath, and he is now even slated to watch the Iowa Hawkeyes take on the Michigan Wolverines this weekend at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, according to Scott Dochterman of The Athletic. As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press theorized, if Hockenson’s concussion were more serious, he may not be allowed to attend such an event so quickly given the live stadium noise.
Obviously, the bye week will be a major asset to Hockenson as he attempts to recover in time to play the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football in his next game. No doubt, the Lions need him for the offense as he has proven to be a willing blocker and a major weapon in the passing game.
It will be wise for Hockenson to remember the lesson of this fall and continue to play safely.