Lions rookie T.J. Hockenson says concussion 'part of the game,' but recovery went well

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson has 15 catches in the first five games of his rookie season.

Allen Park — T.J. Hockenson didn't really want to talk about the scary-looking concussion he suffered a little more than two weeks ago against the Kansas City Chiefs.

To be honest, he didn't seem to want to be talking to the media at all.

But the Detroit Lions rookie tight end fielded a handful of questions in his first interview since his injury, explaining how the recovery went surprisingly well. 

"It's part of the game, something we've all signed up for, something everyone is willing to do this for our living," Hockenson said. "That's what we're here for. It's something that happens, and you've got to move on from it. 

"It was my first (concussion)," Hockenson said. "I was actually pleasantly surprised. I was back to normal in a couple hours. It wasn't crazy. Like I said, the coaching staff, the medical staff here did all the right steps, all the correct steps in order to get me back. It also helped that we had the extra time."

Hockenson suffered the injury when he attempted to hurdle a Chiefs defender, only to be upended and land on his head and shoulder. 

Despite coach Matt Patricia saying he'd prefer players refraining from hurdling in the future, Hockenson wasn't making any promises. 

"Nah, I’m going to go out there and play the game," Hockenson said. "I’m not worried about anything else. I’m just going out there to play the game, whether that opportunity presents itself or not, I’m not going to change anything based on one thing."

The Lions had a bye week last week, providing Hockenson with the extra week to recover. He was back in the lineup for Monday's game against Green Bay. 

The first-round pick already has carved out an important role with the Lions, and has been the team's top red-zone option to start the season. He's been targeted inside the 20-yard line nine times, and has two touchdown catches. 

But he's also left three scores on the field. He had one knocked from his hands against Philadelphia, had another negated in that game when he stepped out of the back of the end zone before coming back in to make the grab, and a third, against Green Bay, came dislodged from his grasp when he landed hard on his elbow and back.  

"I mean, it’s tough," Hockenson said. "I’m my own biggest critic, and you’ll always see me figuring out what I did wrong, what I may need to do better and that’s what I’m going to do this week. We’re going to move on and just try to — this team (Minnesota) is a really good team, so we got to move on and obviously win this week and play as well as we can."

Tight ends have had plenty of success against the Vikings, this Sunday's opponent. The 44 receptions they've allowed is the third-most in the NFL. On the flip side, they are one of five teams to not surrender a touchdown to a tight end this season.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers