Former Iowa Hawkeye T.J. Hockenson Has Huge Vikings Debut [WATCH]
Tuesday, former Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson changed NFL uniforms after a trade from the Detroit Lions to the Minnesota Vikings. No one could've predicted what he did in his debut with the purple and gold.
I've been a Vikings fan for as long as I can remember and I was thrilled last Tuesday to learn that Minnesota was trading for Hockenson. He's not only a great receiver, but I knew Hockenson would also be an asset as a blocker. He showcased both in his first game for Minnesota.
Hockenon's (#87) debut was on the road versus the Washington Commanders.
This is one of two incredible statistics about Hockenson's Vikings debut. A guy who arrived in the Twin Cities just five days before the game was on the field for all but six of Minnesota's offensive snaps.
Hockenson took full advantage of being on the field. Nine passes were thrown his way during the game. Hockenson caught every one of them. His nine receptions were the most by a Vikings tight end since the 2018 season.
Hockenson's first catch of the game came less than two minutes into the first quarter. That's when he was on the receiving end of a 19-yard toss from quarterback Kirk Cousins. It was the longest pass play to a Vikings tight end this season. He would have an 18-yard grab later in the game, good for the second-longest this year by a Minnesota tight end.
Do you think Cousins was glad to see Hockenson as a pass blocker? His pass-blocking ability on this play gave Cousins time to make the completion to wide receiver Adam Thielen.
After the game, Hockenson received kudos from his quarterback.
And Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell gave him a game ball. Hockenson's smile said it all.
Hockenson was a great addition to what's been a special Minnesota Vikings team thus far this year. At 7-1, Minnesota's only loss is to undefeated Philadelphia. This weekend, a big challenge awaits as the Vikings head to 6-2 Buffalo.