Lions officially open 21-day practice window for rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker

It was teased by head coach Dan Campbell on Monday, and on Wednesday the Lions officially opened the 21-day practice window on rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker.

Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK
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It was part of the plan for months, and head coach Dan Campbell pointed to it on Monday. On Wednesday, the Detroit Lions officially opened the 21-day window for rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker to be put on the 53-man roster as he was on the practice field.

Hooker suffered a torn ACL a little over a year ago (Nov. 19, 2022) while playing for Tennessee. That derailed the idea he could've been a first-round pick, as he had had a fantastic season to that point. The Lions took him in the third round of April's draft, with the instant and expected plan this would be a "redshirt year" for him as he got healthy and acclimated to an NFL offense.

Hooker has been on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list all season, since his injury occurred in college. He has been in on meetings, but being able to actually practice was an important step that Campbell was clear about on Monday.

Here are some images and clips from reporters on the ground at Wednesday's practice.

Reporters did not see Hooker throw during the open portion of practice, but he surely did so.

Detroit Lions: When will Hendon Hooker have to put on the active roster?

Simple math says the Lions now have until the week before Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings to put Hooker on the active roster. They can do so at any point between now and then, that's just the latest. Otherwise, if that 21-day window expires and he's not added to the 53-man roster, he will remain on the NFI list and be out for the season.

Of course, being on the 53-man roster and playing are two very different things. Hooker would be no more than the No. 3 quarterback on a game day, with a scenario where he could be on the inactive list and designated as the emergency third quarterback. As the emergency No. 3, Hooker would only play if Jared Goff and Teddy Bridgewater are both injured and rendered unable to go.

So Hooker's first game action in a Lions' uniform is lined up to come next preseason. But from here on out this season, the Lions will get an important closer look as they evaluate him and their future at the most important position on the field.

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