The latest TJ Hockenson injury update finally puts to bed some of the rumors and intrigue surrounding the Minnesota Vikings tight end. The two-time Pro Bowler reported to Vikings training camp on time, but as a limited participant in team drills, uncertainty surrounded his status. Now, Hockenson has cleared up some of the misconceptions and explained that he’s dealing with a tough ear infection.
“TJ Hockenson said today that he developed an ear infection early in camp that affected his equilibrium, explaining why he has not participated in the contact and team portions of practices,” Kevin Siefert of ESPN reported Monday. “He said he did not know if he would participate in joint practices w/ Titans this week.”
Prior to this latest TJ Hockenson injury update, the media and Vikings fans had little information about the status of the fifth-year veteran.
The team told reporters at Vikings training camp in Eagan, Minnesota, that Hockenson was sitting out with an “illness” but didn’t specify anything more. However, the strange piece was that he was out on the field during practices but only participated in individual drills, not team ones.
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This led to speculation that the TE — who the team acquired in a trade with the Detroit Lions last season and is on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal — was staging a hold-in to get a new contract.
That doesn’t seem to be the case now, and it sounds like Hockenson will return to full practice once his ear infection clears up.
That’s great news for the Vikings, as Hockenson was the team’s fourth-leading pass-catchers last season, despite playing 10 fewer games than the players ahead of him. In 2023, Hockenson should be a key piece of the team’s offense.