Lions coach Matt Patricia: T.J. Hockenson avoids second concussion against Raiders
Despite another scary moment Sunday for the rookie tight end, T.J. Hockenson did not suffer his second concussion of the season, Lions coach Matt Patricia said Monday.
Patricia said Hockenson got the wind knocked out of him on a play in the final minutes of the 31-24 loss to Oakland, which pushed the Lions (3-4-1) to the deep, deep outskirts of the playoff race at midseason.
“We went through the evaluations with everything, but it was a hit in the middle of the back, and really that was it,” Patricia said. “Everything else was checked out normal, checked out fine. He was pretty sore, but other than that, we’ll be OK.”
Hockenson went down with an injury after an incomplete pass intended for him on the final drive with 1:22 to play.
Oakland safety Erik Harris delivered a shot to his back and Hockenson’s head hit the Oakland Coliseum grass. Both of Hockenson’s hands went to his helmet after the play and he was evaluated for a concussion.
“It was a good, clean hit, a solid hit,” Patricia said. “He went down on the turf, and for the most part, just really it took the breath out of him. It was a good hard hit, but maybe initially when he was coming off the field, he was feeling that.”
Hockenson suffered a concussion after trying to hurdle a defender in the Sept. 29 loss to Kansas City but, aided by the team’s bye week after that, did not miss game action.
Hockenson had said that concussion was the first of his career and later noted he was “pleasantly surprised” how smoothly the recovery process went.
The tight end had three catches for 56 yards on Sunday, and his seven targets were the most he had since his NFL debut in Week 1 at Arizona.
In that game, Hockenson broke out with six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. In the seven contests since, Hockenson has averaged 2.3 catches and and 23.6 receiving yards per game with one total touchdown.
Patricia said the ankle injury to guard Joe Dahl, who also left the game in the fourth quarter, was “nothing that wouldn’t just be day by day right now.”
The Lions were already without their other starting guard, as Graham Glasgow’s injured back forced him to miss a game because of an injury for the first time in his four-year career.
Both in-game injuries proved costly, as guard Oday Aboushi and tight ends Logan Thomas and Jesse James played roles in the failed final, fourth-down play for the Lions' offense from the 1-yard line.
Matt Schoch is a freelance writer.