The Lions Appear To Have Lost Sam LaPorta For The Playoffs In A Game They Didn’t Really Need To Win

Sam LaPorta
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I can definitely appreciate the Detroit Lions’ mentality of not wanting to back into the playoffs with two straight losses, especially after the Taylor Decker reporting eligible officiating debacle of Week 17. But there’s a fine line between that and recklessness.

Hindsight is 20/20 and all that. Lions rookie phenom Sam LaPorta had an excellent afternoon at least for a while. He broke the first-year tight end record for receptions in a single season and scored his 10th TD. Just piling on to a stunning statistical 2023 campaign for Detroit’s offense all around.

…Alas, instead of sitting down LaPorta after the Lions’ second series when the record was in tow, he continued to play and injured his knee.

Although Dan Campbell said it wasn’t as bad as it looked initially, he implied that LaPorta is rather doubtful to play once the playoffs kick off next week. That was later confirmed by RapSheet.

Also, *EARTH TO THE LIONS COACHING STAFF*, why are we playing Amon-Ra St. Brown so much? Seven receptions for 144 yards and a score. Yet another amazing day at the office for the Sun God. My fantasy championship team appreciates his efforts and those of LaPorta’s. But otherwise, for who? For what?

The Lions had a such a long shot at even getting the second seed as it was entering Week 18. Here’s the thing: Ben Johnson is the next young stud offensive coordinator who teams will aggressively pursue for head coaching opportunities this offseason. Johnson surely could’ve come up with a game plan to beat the Vikings’ reeling defense. Minnesota was also starting Nick Mullens at quarterback. Not exactly a great chance for victory with him at the controls. On cue, Mullens threw an interception on his final two possessions.

LaPorta at least avoided an ACL tear or something else catastrophic. Still, you hate to see him go down in a regular-season finale that didn’t have too much bearing on Detroit’s playoff destiny. Now, one of the Lions’ most important weapons will likely be sidelined, which really puts them in peril of losing on Wild Card Weekend.

No question Campbell will have his troops ready. They’ll continue to rally around getting screwed out of that win in Dallas. They have other dynamic offensive players like St. Brown, Jameson Williams, David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. It’s just that LaPorta is such a matchup nightmare and opens up the playbook in the red zone so much with his skill set that it’ll be impossible to replace his production.

I’d love to see the Lions win at least one playoff game. Get it done in front of the long-suffering home fans. Looks like they’ll have to do it without LaPorta. Here’s an interesting subplot to keep an eye on, however: Zach Ertz may be the type of plug-and-play vet Detroit could pick up to help the cause.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock