The Detroit Lions are playing the Carolina Panthers in Week 16 of the NFL season. If you’re watching the game or checking the box score, you will notice that the Lions have scored three touchdowns. That may not be shocking as their offense has taken a step forward, but you may notice they are all by a Shane Zylstra.
Zylstra is the new starting tight end for the Lions after they traded away T.J. Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings at the 2022 trade deadline. Zylstra was a five-year player out of Minnesota State after redshirting his freshman year of college. He went undrafted in the 2021 NFL Draft and joined the Vikings’ practice squad. He was waived and has spent the last season and a half with the Lions on their practice squad. Since the Hockenson move, Zylstra has been on the active roster and is paying dividends on Sunday. With 2:42 left in the game, Zylstra has five receptions for 26 yards and three touchdowns.