On seemingly weekly basis, Sam LaPorta is setting record marks for a Detroit Lions rookie tight end and a tight end in general over the franchise's history. Fellow rookie Jahmyr Gibbs is doing similar things in Lions' rookie running back history, being mentioned alongside Barry Sanders.
Midway through the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears, LaPorta hauled in a 13-yard reception. That catch pushed LaPorta over the 700-yard mark for the season. It also put a Honolulu Blue-shaded mark in the NFL record book.
Gibbs had 898 yards from scrimmage entering Sunday's game. So...
Again, that's the first time in NFL history a team has had a rookie running back and a rookie tight end produce 700-plus yards from scrimmage (the "in a single season" part in the Lions' PR post is inherent, since you're only a rookie once). Not only that, Gibbs and LaPorta got it done in the first half of the 13th game of the season.
Sam LaPorta and Jahmyr Gibbs have delivered beyond even the highest expectations this season
The moment he was drafted in the second round of April's draft, LaPorta clearly became the Lions' best and most talented tight end. He showed it right from the start in rookie minicamp, and he has not missed a beat.
For all the constipation about Gibbs being drafted where he was (12th overall), and the subsequent early-season constipation about his lack of usage, his production per game has not been far off of Bijan Robinson's so far this season and in some areas Gibbs has been better.
LaPorta easily upgraded the Lions' tight end depth chart. As long as he stayed healthy, Gibbs was in line to be an upgrade over D'Andre Swift in a similar role. Both have delivered big as rookies, all the way to setting an NFL record that will not easily be matched, let alone topped.