Sam LaPorta injury update: 'Outside shot' to play vs. Rams in Wild Card Round

Certainly better than immediately declaring him out, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said tight end Sam LaPorta has a chance to play against the Rams.
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All things considered, Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta avoided a worst-case scenario when he suffered a rough-looking knee injury on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. The report of a hyperextended knee and a bone bruise was certainly better than more severe, longer-term, alternatives.

Head coach Dan Campbell was not overly optimistic about LaPorta right after the game. But on Monday, via MLive, the outlook was a little brighter.

"Look, LaPorta has an outside shot now,” Campbell said. “We’ll see. In 48 hours, we’re going to know a lot with him. But he’s got an outside shot.”
“We’re talking days, not weeks here.”

So the next 48 hours will be critical. As Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports noted, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce suffered the same injury that LaPorta has on a Tuesday, he tried to practice on Wednesday and he was ruled out for the Thursday night season opener against the Lions. Kelce was back at practice the next week. LaPorta has the luxury of more time than Kelce had.

Campbell added the Lions are not expecting to make an outside addition at tight end.

Sam LaPorta part of Lions' injury updates

Campbell had other injury updates on Monday. (h/t to Pride of Detroit for the quotes from Campbell).

WR Kalif Raymond: "I think (Raymond’s) in that boat, maybe a little farther away than LaPorta,” Campbell said.

Raymond suffered a knee injury against the Vikings and did not return. He had a great day as a punt returner, with Donovan Peoples-Jones among the options to take over those duties against the Rams if Raymond can't go.

WR Jameson Williams: "I think Jamo’s going to be good here,” Campbell said. “He should be good to go practicing on Wednesday.”

Williams missed the game against Minnesota after suffering an ankle injury against the Cowboys in Week 17. He is in line to return against the Rams, as he looks to carry the momentum had going before the injury into the postseason.

TE Brock Wright: “I think Brock’s going to be good to go,” Campbell said. “He’ll be out there practicing as well.”

Wright has missed the last three games with a hip injury. That he was never placed on IR pointed to a return sooner rather than later, and he's in line to play against the Rams. If LaPorta can't go, he'll be in line to start and play requisite snaps.

EDGE James Houston: "Houston will be out there practicing, and we’ll see,” Campbell said. “He’ll be better than he was last week. Now, how much is that? How good is that going to be? I don’t know. I’m not as optimistic about him.”

Campbell not being as optimistic about Houston lines up with him casting doubt about the second-year edge rusher being ready for the Lions' first playoff game last week.

So while nothing is certain either way just yet, the news on LaPorta is certainly better than was easy to expect at the moment he was injured.