Detroit Lions announce decision on TE Shane Zylstra

The Detroit Lions took to Twitter just moments ago to announce their decision on Shane Zylstra.

On Monday, near the end of practice, Detroit Lions tight end Shane Zylstra suffered what looked to be a severe injury. Later in the day, news broke that Zylstra's injury was very serious and that he would likely miss the entire 2023 season. Just moments ago, the Lions announced that Zylstra has been waived.

Shane Zylstra Detroit Lions

How Was Zylsta Injured?

The injury took place when cornerback Khalil Dorsey delivered a low hit on Zylstra near the conclusion of the practice session, causing Zylstra to hobble off the field. The incident caught the team by surprise, as players from both offensive and defensive lines knelt in concern while their fellow team member was assisted off the field.

Why it Matters for Shane Zylstra and the Detroit Lions

As the 2022 season neared, expectations for Zylstra were moderate at best, with T.J. Hockenson holding the Lions' lead tight end role. Yet, Zylstra's career trajectory changed for the better when Hockenson was traded, securing him a spot on the Lions' primary roster. In the last ten games, he made the most of his field time, impressively completing four touchdown passes. However, with the Lions drafting Sam LaPorta in the 2023 NFL Draft, Zylstra is currently projected to be the fourth choice for the tight end position.

Key Points

  1. Shane Zylstra, tight end for the Detroit Lions, sustained a severe injury towards the end of a practice session when cornerback Khalil Dorsey hit him low, causing Zylstra to limp off the field. This was an unexpected blow to the team.
  2. It was later confirmed that Zylstra's injury was severe and he would likely miss the entire 2023 season, which represents a significant setback for both Zylstra and the Lions.
  3. Despite Zylstra's career having taken a promising turn after he secured a spot on the Lions' main roster and impressively completed four touchdown passes in the last ten games of the previous season, the Lions announced his waiver following the injury.
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Bottom Line: A Reminder To Not Take Anything For Granted

The loss of Shane Zylstra for the 2023 season is a blow to the Detroit Lions, coming on the heels of a promising upward turn in Zylstra's career. Zylstra had stepped up admirably after the trade of T.J. Hockenson and was starting to make a significant contribution to the team. However, with his serious injury and subsequent waiver, the Lions will have to readjust their strategy for the tight-end role. Zylstra's unfortunate injury underscores the unpredictable nature of football, where an individual's career trajectory can shift dramatically due to circumstances beyond their control. This is not just a significant loss for Zylstra and the Lions, but also a harsh reminder of the physical risks athletes undertake in their professional careers.