The Lions made a surprising trade on Tuesday, sending T.J. Hockenson to the division-rival Vikings.
One of the team’s key offensive weapons, Hockenson was leading Detroit with 395 receiving yards. But now that he’s no longer on the team, head coach Dan Campbell is preaching to the players that they have to stay the course.
“I simply told them that, look, this is a business decision. And there’s nothing personal,” Campbell said in his Wednesday press conference. “I’ve got a lot of respect for T.J. as does everybody. and we wish him the best until we play him again. And no hard feelings — we talked yesterday and all is great.
“I just told them that and told them that what I have to judge is where does his production go now? And I have to feel OK with the production going to [Amon-Ra] St. Brown, ‘Lif [Kalif Raymond], [Josh] Reynolds, [D’Andre] Swift, another carry for Jamal [Williams], and the tight ends. And I feel OK with that.”
As for those remaining tight ends, Campbell said the team anticipates Brock Wright clearing the concussion protocol and being available for Sunday’s game against the Packers. And James Mitchell has gotten better every week and should be ready for a heavier workload.
“There’s more food on the table now for the other skill players on offense,” Campbell said.