Vikings Star Gets a Positive Injury Update

During Minnesota’s Week 16 game against the Detroit Lions, tight end T.J. Hockenson suffered a torn ACL and MCL, prematurely ending his season.

Since then, many have been waiting on an update regarding the Vikings star, and on Monday evening, fans got that update. Hockenson underwent a successful surgery and is now on the road to recovery to prepare for the 2024 season.

Vikings Star Gets a Positive Injury Update

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) runs after a catch during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweeted out a screenshot of the Vikings’ press release on Monday night, which read, “Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson underwent successful surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) today. The surgery was led by Dr. Neal ElAttrache from the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, Calif. The team will continue to provide updates, as appropriate, during Hockenson’s recovery.”

Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune explained why the Vikings waited this long have him undergo the surgery, tweeting that the purpose was to allow his MCL to heal on its own before the procedure was done.

Since Hockenson was traded to the Vikings at the deadline in 2022, he has been a vital part of their offense. In 25 regular season games with the team, the tight end has totaled 155 receptions for 1479 yards and eight touchdowns.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) and guard Ezra Cleveland (72) greet fans after the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The tight end signed a new four-year, $66 million extension before the start of the 2023 season, tabbing the Iowa alumnus as the highest-paid TE in NFL history. Hockenson quickly made that extension worthwhile by setting a new Vikings franchise record for receptions by a tight end (95).

Had he been able to finish the season, Hockenson was well on his way to set a new receiving yards record as well. If he had been able to put together 45 more receiving yards over the final two games, Hockenson would have surpassed Joe Senser for the record. Senser totaled 1004 receiving yards during the 1981 season, a record that has stood for 42 seasons.

In Hockenson’s absence, the Vikings offense heavily relied on the duo of Josh Oliver and Johnny Mundt for reps at the tight end spot, and now, Mundt is set to enter free agency. This leaves Oliver as the only healthy tight end currently under contract with the Vikings for the 2024 season.

Vikings Star
Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) reacts with tight end Josh Oliver (84) and guard Dalton Risner (66) after a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

For now, there is no timeline as to when Hockenson will be able to return to football activities. Hopefully, though, the star is able to make a speedy recovery.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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