Sam LaPorta wrapping up an all-time great season for a rookie tight end

Detroit's Sam LaPorta has had one of the best seasons for a rookie tight end in NFL history.

LaPorta has 81 catches for 860 yards and nine touchdowns this season, with one game to go. In all three of those categories, he's among the best ever for a rookie tight end.

With 81 catches, LaPorta has tied the rookie tight end record, set by Keith Jackson in 1988. If LaPorta catches at least one pass on Sunday against the Vikings, he'll have the record all to himself.

With 860 yards, LaPorta is currently fifth all-time for a rookie tight end, but he's only 35 yards away from moving into third all time, ahead of Jackson and also ahead of Jeremy Shockey in 2002. Mike Ditka's 1961 season is still the best ever for a rookie tight end, with 1,076 receiving yards, and Kyle Pitts is second with 1,026 receiving yards. LaPorta probably won't pass Pitts, but he's likely to end up as No. 3 all time in rookie tight end yardage.

And with nine touchdowns, LaPorta is currently tied for third, behind only Ditka with 12 and Rob Gronkowski with 10.

LaPorta has proven to be a huge part of a big season in Detroit, a rookie whose immediate impact is among the greatest any tight end has ever had.