All eyes are on Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta entering Week 6. The rookie tight end is battling a calf injury that flared up on Wednesday, and he is officially listed as questionable for the team’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On Sunday, we got a positive update on his status from ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
“Lions’ TE Sam LaPorta, listed as questionable for Sunday due to a calf injury, is expected to work out pre-game to finalize whether he can play, but it is trending in the right direction, per source,” Schefter tweeted on Sunday morning.
It sounds like LaPorta is truly a game-time decision and we’ll see how his body responds to pre-game workouts on Sunday afternoon.
UPDATE: Per Jeff Darlington of ESPN, LaPorta is expected to be active and play.
For those locking in your fantasy lineups, you can prepare for Lions TE Sam LaPorta (calf) to play in that 4:25 p.m. game against the Bucs. The team is planning for him to be active.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) October 15, 2023
LaPorta has been one of Detroit’s best offensive players so far this season. Not only is he on pace to set a ton of rookie tight end records for receiving—he currently has 25 catches, 289 yards, and 3 TDs—but he’s also excelled as a blocker.
“You see a lot of young guys in this League, particularly at that position, they’re either really strong pass-catchers or maybe they’re shifted the other way and they’re more in the blocking department and he’s equally good in both ways,” offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said this week. “So, (he’s) another member of our unit that is really invaluable to what we’re doing right now.”
LaPorta is so invaluable to the team that he’s been averaging well over 80 percent of the team’s offensive snaps despite being a rookie.
If he can’t go on Sunday, the Lions will have to rely on larger contributions from Brock Wright and Darrell Daniels, the only two healthy tight ends on the roster.