Detroit Lions rookie tight end Sam LaPorta is having an incredible first season in the NFL.
During the Lions Week 15 game against the Denver Broncos, LaPorta caught three passes for 43 yards and a touchdown. In doing so, he brought his season total up to 69 receptions for 745 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns.
Those totals are not only the best ever by a Lions rookie tight end, but he has already had a better season than any season T.J. Hockenson—the player LaPorta replaced—ever had as a member of the Lions.
LaPorta is now just 15 receptions and 33 receiving yards from breaking the Lions single-season receiving records for a tight end. Both records are currently held by Brandon Pettigrew during the 2011 season.
LaPorta’s seven touchdowns are also just one away from tying the franchise record of eight for tight ends, set back in 1964 by Jim Gibbons.
UPDATE: LaPorta opens the second half with a three-yard touchdown, giving him eight on the season, tying Gibbons for the franchise record.
SECOND UPDATE: LaPorta catches a third touchdown, giving him nine on the season and putting him in sole possession of the franchise record for touchdowns scored by a tight end in a single season.