Vikings’ tight end TJ Hockenson does not blame Lions’ safety Kerby Joseph for his injury despite the notions of Vikings fans


On Christmas Eve the Detroit Lions ended an incredibly long 30 year streak of not winning the a divsion title when they beat the Vikings 30-24 at U.S. Bank Stadium and claimed the NFC North title.

For a lot of Vikings fans, the problem wasn’t that the Lions beat their team, it was that in their estimation, they were dirty while doing it. The root of this complaint was a hit that T.J. Hockenson took from Lions’ safety Kerby Joseph. A hit that ended Hockenson’s season. 

While fans like to zero in on this hit, it’s a pretty normal occurrence in the NFL and the problem is less with the player and more with the league allowing it. That’s T.J. Hockenson’s take at least. 

“It’s tough,” Hockenson said. “It really is. We’re big guys running through the middle of the field. This is a business, and I don’t think anyone goes out on the field wanting to injure a player like that. So, I’m looking at the light of that and hoping that’s not what the intent was, to injure a player in that sense. But I think to have it happen a couple weeks later [with Tyler Higbee in the Lions Wild Card game against the Rams], I think that’s something the league needs to look and see what it can do.”

A lot of Rams fans tend to focus in on Joseph’s stop on Tyler Higbee in that game. So much so that they completely ignore the two or three times that Ram’s defenders when right for the knees on tackles in that game. Specifically on Lions rookie Sam LaPorta who was coming off a knee injury from the previous week. 

Perhaps the biggest thing that Hockenson had to say about this situation is that he doesn’t blame Kerby Joseph for the injury and doesn’t think Joseph did it on purpose. 

“I know Kerby pretty well. I’ve played with him. I don’t necessarily think it was [intended to injure]. You go back on the tape and you see what happened. I know him. I don’t think it was. I just want to make sure it wasn’t and that’s why I’m using my voice here. Players protect players. That’s in any facet of the league. You don’t want a defensive guy head-hunting or knee-hunting, and the same thing for an offensive guy.”

Joseph said after the game that he had no intention of hurting Hockenson and that he was praying for him. 

We’ll see if the NFL plans to do anything about these types of hits soon. No changes have been made and the league meetings have passed. So there’s a shot that nothing is immediate. 

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