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Detroit Lions rookie QB Hendon Hooker practices for first time

Detroit Lions third-round rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker practiced for the first time on Wednesday, starting his 21-day evaluation clock.

NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

It’s been over a full year since his ACL injury, but Detroit Lions rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker practiced for the first time on Wednesday. This week, the Lions opted to start Hooker’s 21-day evaluation clock, meaning over the next three weeks, he’ll either be added to the 53-man roster or will stay on the Non-Football Injury list for the remainder of the season.

Hooker, one of the team’s third-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, suffered a torn ACL on November 19, 2022 in Tennessee’s matchup with South Carolina. Since then, he’s been rehabbing his way back, both physically and mentally. He’s been able to sit in on meetings and soak up as much knowledge from teammates and coaches off the field.

However, Lions coach Dan Campbell said this week it was important to get Hooker on-field work to get his feet wet.

“To be able to actually do individual work with him, have him take a snap, that’s why it’s big,” Campbell said. “I mean it’d be nice to just do some of those things with him, but that’s why you’ve got to get him on the roster. Otherwise, rules don’t allow for him to do any of that.”

Make no mistake, there isn’t—and won’t be—any quarterback controversy in Detroit this year. Jared Goff is clearly their guy, despite recent turnover issues. However, getting an evaluation on where Hooker is at and where he’s capable of going is important for the Lions to make informed decisions about the future of the quarterback position. After all, Goff’s current contract is set to expire after the 2024 season.

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