One of the early storylines in Minnesota Vikings training camp that fans have been keeping an eye on is the status of tight end T.J. Hockenson. In preparing for his first full season in Minnesota after being acquired in a trade with Detroit last season, Hockenson has been limited in camp thus far, and now we know why that’s been the case.
Per Kevin Seifert of ESPN, Hockenson has been dealing with an ear infection throughout camp, a malady that has affected his equilibrium. I’m guessing it’s much more difficult to play football if you’re having issues moving in a straight line and that sort of thing.
According to Seifert’s report, Hockenson has been taking part in the early portions of practice each day, but has been sitting out of anything involving contact and full pad work.
“I want to be out there with the boys, obviously,” Hockenson said. “My favorite thing is playing football with the guys in the locker room and having a great time with them. So it stinks, but on the same hand I’ve got to get ready for September. And that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Hockenson is in the final year of his rookie contract, and the prevailing wisdom seems to be that he’s one of several players that the Vikings are working on long-term extensions for. While some had speculated that might have had something to do with his limited work in practice, it turns out that it’s something much more significant.
Here’s hoping that Hockenson can shake this issue sooner rather than later and can get back out on the field with his teammates to prepare for what should be a huge 2023 campaign.