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Shark Bites

The Lions on Monday placed TE T.J. Hockenson on IR with the ankle injury he suffered on Thanksgiving. The rookie disappointed fantasy owners after a huge opener but remains a terrific long-term prospect. His departure from this season leaves Jesse James and Logan Thomas as Detroit's top 2 TEs. Thomas has topped 2 catches in a game just once this year. James -- a high-priced free agent addition before the team drafted Hockenson -- has finished just 1 game all season with more than 1 catch (back in Week 2).

Recent Shark Bites

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson expects to be used more creatively this season in new OC Ben Johnson's scheme. Johnson was Hockenson's position coach the past 2 years. "Ben has seen me do routes that most guys or coordinators wouldn't think that a tight end could do," Hockenson said. "Splitting me out, running a comeback, splitting me out and running things that really only wide receivers do. He's seen me run it and he's seen me run it well. Just being able to have that in his head – we're already seeing it now (with me) being split out and doing some things and showing what we got." QB Jared Goff likes what he's seen with Hockenson's usage so far this offseason. "T.J. is a unique player and somebody that we need to take advantage of his full skill set," Goff said. "No one knows him better than Ben, so having him in that (OC) spot to make those decisions and draw things up is helpful. But he's doing a great job creatively with T.J." Hockenson is a safe pick in mid-range TE1 territory and might still have untapped upside beyond that.

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson will miss the final 4 games of the season after undergoing thumb surgery on Thursday morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Hockenson is expected to make a "complete recovery in time for the offseason program," Schefter adds. His absence leaves behind a team-high 7.0 targets per game. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, who's tallied 12 targets in 2 straight, looks like the biggest beneficiary.

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (hand) remained sidelined for Wednesday's practice. The Athletic's Chris Burke confirms that it "doesn't sound overly" optimistic for Hockenson to play vs. the Cardinals this weekend. TEs Brock Wright and Shane Zylstra split TE duties with Hockenson out last week. Neither is a reliable fantasy play.

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (hand) is inactive for today’s game vs. the Broncos. Brock Wright figures to operate as Detroit’s lead pass-catching TE but isn’t a viable fantasy play. With Hockenson, D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams all out, the Lions’ WRs should pick up extra targets today.

Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (hand) is listed as doubtful for this weekend’s game vs. the Broncos. He went from a limited practice on Wednesday to no practice on Thursday and Friday. He won’t play on Sunday, and his availability for Week 15 and beyond is unclear. Hockenson’s absence leaves Brock Wright as Detroit’s likely lead pass-catching TE, but you should be able to do much better in fantasy lineups.

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