Darren Fells Has High Praise for T.J. Hockenson: ‘There’s No Weakness’

T.J. Hockenson

Getty T.J. Hockenson on the field during Lions training camp in 2021.

The Detroit Lions have made it a goal to find consistency at the tight end spot, and it seems as if the team might do much better than that in the form of T.J. Hockenson.

Thus far entering his third season in the NFL, Hockenson has been a revelation, and is looking poised to become a star at the position. Teammate Darren Fells sees that playing out in a big way in the future, and believes that Hockenson is more than equipped to be the difference-maker the Lions have needed at the spot.

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Speaking after a practice at Ford Field on Saturday, August 7, Fells was asked by the media his impressions of Hockenson. As he said in an interview posted to DetroitLions.com, the youngster doesn’t have much to work on at this point in time as complete as he is.

“In my mind he’s one of the top tight ends in the NFL. He can go out there, make big plays, he’s a great blocker as well. I feel when he’s next to me, there’s no weakness there. I’ve been places where you don’t know what you’re going to get, and with Hockenson, you know what you’re going to get,” Fells said.

That’s high praise for Hockenson considering who’s heaping it on him. Fells has been around the block in the league himself, so hearing him say such things about Hockenson is very noteworthy.


Darren Fells Ready to Sacrifice for T.J. Hockenson

Not only did the Lions need a tight end to come into the mix for production, but they managed to get a good one who will fit the culture well in Fells. Already this offseason, Fells has shown multiple times what a positive addition to the team he will be and it’s clear he is planning to clear the stage for the potential young star he will be playing alongside.

Speaking after minicamp practice back in June, Fells explained that he isn’t going to be on the roster to vulture T.J. Hockenson’s red zone targets or touchdowns. In fact, the tight end will be there as a blocker to help ensure that Hockenson gets all the attention he needs to make those plays. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweeted about the veteran’s desire to pad his teammate’s stats.

Fells himself has been a prime target recently while playing in Houston, so it’s neat to see him deferring to Hockenson as the major weapon in Detroit and not caring about stats for himself. That shows a real buy-in for the team mentality, which is neat to see.


Fells’ Stats and Highlights

Though he chooses to talk up his teammate, Fells has has a solid run in the NFL, and at 35, might be far from done in terms of his own career after the numbers he has been putting up recently. He had a solid three-year run with the Arizona Cardinals, signed with the Lions for a season, signed with the Cleveland Browns for 2018 and then landed in Houston, where he’s been the last two seasons. Fells has put up 21 touchdowns and 1,483 receiving yards in his career. Interestingly, half of those scores came the last two seasons when he played with the Texans. In Detroit, Fells put up 177 yards and 3 scores in 2017.

Here’s a look at some of Fells’s best work in Houston recently:


Every Darren Fells Regular Season TouchdownLike and sub2020-07-30T00:31:52Z

It’s obvious to see how Fells could benefit a young Detroit offense and Jared Goff in 2021, and good to see he is fitting in and prepared to do whatever he can to help the team, even at the expense of his own stats. With Fells and Hockenson, the team could have a pair of good running mates poised to help in 2021.

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