With at least five catches in his first two career games, even if it's low-hanging fruit not worth of mention for a segment of Lions' fans, Sam LaPorta became the first tight end in NFL history to do that.
LaPorta got to five receptions pretty quickly on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, highlighted by his first NFL touchdown--at 45-yarder that is now the longest for a rookie tight end in Lions' history. He finished the game with eight receptions (on 11 targets) for 84 yards and that touchdown, putting him at 18 receptions for 186 yards through his first three games.
Via Nolan Bianchi of the Detroit News, LaPorta acknowledged (but downplayed) his accomplishments thus far while talking about the moment of his first career touchdown. His family was sitting in the section right by where he scored.
"It's cool. I mean, it's cool to acknowledge for a little while and then gotta move on," LaPorta said. "We got a game in four days, so gotta get ready for that."
Thanks (to) the big guys for holding up to allow Jared to launch that ball down the field to me. But it felt like it hung in the air for like 15 seconds. I was just praying for it to come down. And yeah, really cool feeling,"
For (my family) to witness that and experience that with me — it was basically right in front of the family section — that was really cool."
Sam LaPorta continues to set NFL records for a rookie tight end
With his aforementioned 18 receptions, LaPorta now owns the catch record for a tight end in the first three games of a career. Eagles tight end Keith Jackson set the previous record of 17 receptions over his first three games in 1988. LaPorta's 186 yards through his first three games is second in NFL history through a first three games, behind Aaron Hernandez.
LaPorta has been a standout since he first arrived on the ground at Allen Park for rookie minicamp. He's off a historic start to his career, leaving some lackluster history for Lions' rookie tight ends in his wake while he's done it.