There is a new TE1 in town for the Minnesota Vikings, as TJ Hockenson has just arrived after he was traded to the team by the Detroit Lions just hours before the trade deadline buzzer sounded last Tuesday. Hockenson had the feeling that was going to be moved, but the destination the Lions chose for him came to him as a surprise, per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
“I kinda knew. I had a little idea. I didn’t expect here, but obviously super, super excited to be here,” Hockenson said. “When I got here last night I was like, This is pretty sweet. Just excited to be here, for real.”
The Vikings made a push for tight end help in large part because of Irv Smith’s injury. Smith suffered an ankle injury last Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. The Vikings have also placed him on the injured reserve, which means Smith will not be able to see action for at least eight weeks. With Smith potentially done for the rest of the season, the Vikings can get TJ Hockenson as much work in the offense as he can accommodate once he’s fully acclimated to his new surroundings.
TJ Hockenson has gone from the worst team in the NFC North division — and the worst in the NFL based on winning percentage this season — to a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the Vikings, who are carrying a 6-1 record.
So far this season, TJ Hockenson has 395 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 26 receptions across seven games played.