Jan 7, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta (87) is carted off the field after an injury during second quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

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Coach gives Lions TE Sam LaPorta ‘outside shot’ to play

Lions coach Dan Campbell gives rookie tight end Sam LaPorta an “outside shot” to play in Detroit’s wild-card playoff game Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams.

“LaPorta’s got an outside shot now. We’ll know a lot in 48 hours. He’s got an outside shot,” Campbell said Monday. “It’s very much we’re talking days, not weeks, which is a good thing.”

LaPorta avoided a season-ending left knee injury on Sunday, but his availability for the first round of the playoffs appeared to be in peril when he left the field in the second quarter of the win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Campbell said general manager Brad Holmes has scoured the team’s free agent list to “see if there is someone that will help us,” Campbell said.

Reports late Sunday connected former Eagles and Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz to the Lions. Ertz is unsigned after being released by the Cardinals last month.

“I think we’ll be alright,” Campbell said. “Brad’s got his eyes open. He’s always looking.”

LaPorta broke the NFL rookie tight end record for receptions Sunday with his 82nd catch, also his 10th touchdown of the season, a 2-yard score with 8:06 left in the first quarter.

On the first play after the two-minute warning in the second quarter, LaPorta was split wide, left of the formation and caught a short pass from Jared Goff. Vikings safety Josh Metellus closed quickly on the in-cutting route and tackled LaPorta high. As LaPorta went to the turf, he appeared to reach for his left knee, buckling under the weight of Metellus on his back and to the turf.

He went to the locker room on a cart.

LaPorta ended the regular season with 86 receptions for 889 yards with 10 TD catches.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.


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