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Vikings Acquire TE T.J. Hockenson; Place Smith on IR

EAGAN, Minn. — T.J. Hockenson is heading closer to home.

The Chariton, Iowa, native and former Iowa Hawkeyes tight end was acquired Tuesday by the Minnesota Vikings in a trade with the Detroit Lions that is pending Hockenson's passing of a physical.

The deal involved Minnesota sending a 2023 second-round pick and 2024 third-round pick to Detroit to land the No. 8 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, as well as a fourth-round pick in 2023 and a conditional pick in 2024.

The agreement was executed hours before the 2022 NFL trade deadline of 3 p.m. (CT) Tuesday.

Hockenson has appeared in 47 career games with 42 starts, totaling 186 catches for 2,068 yards and 15 touchdowns with Detroit. Those numbers include career highs of 67 receptions for 723 yards and six scores in 2020 to earn his first selection to the Pro Bowl. Hockenson became the first Lions tight end to make the Pro Bowl since David Sloan in 1999.

View photos of Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson who was traded to the team on Nov. 1.

This season, Hockenson has recorded 26 catches for 395 yards and three scores for his career high of 15.2 yards per catch that is the most in the NFL among qualifying tight ends.

Hockenson has played the Vikings six times, totaling 20 catches for 185 yards and three touchdowns. In Week 3, he finished with three catches for 18 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown, against Minnesota at U.S. Bank Stadium.

In Week 4 vs. Seattle, Hockenson set a career-high with 179 receiving yards (the most by a tight end this season and the most ever by a Lions tight end). The monster game included a career-long 81-yard reception, the second-longest play from scrimmage in the NFL this season. In the contest vs. Seattle, Hockenson totaled 109 yards after the catch, the most in a single game in the NFL in 2022 and the most for a tight end since 49ers TE George Kittle had 136 vs. Denver on Dec. 9, 2018.

Hockenson attended the University of Iowa, where he won the John Mackey Award in 2018 as the nation's best tight end. He was teammates with Vikings practice squad QB David Blough while in Detroit.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 14, 2023.

The addition of Hockenson occurs after fellow 2019 draft pick Irv Smith, Jr., suffered an ankle injury in Minnesota's 34-26 win over Arizona Sunday.

A couple of hours after announcing the trade, the Vikings placed Smith on Injured Reserve, where he must remain for at least four games.

Ben Ellefson is dealing with a groin injury and must remain on Injured Reserve for at least one more game.

Johnny Mundt remains in place and just recorded his first career touchdown in the 54th regular-season game of his career to help the Vikings top the Cardinals.

Smith, who worked his way back from a torn meniscus that cost him all of 2021, leads Minnesota's tight ends this season with 22 catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns.

Mundt's 12 catches, 76 yards and one score have surpassed the totals he put up with the Los Angeles Rams from 2017-21. Ellefson's three catches for 26 yards are also career highs.

Minnesota also has veteran Jacob Hollister and rookie Nick Muse on its practice squad. Hollister has appeared in two games, primarily on special teams. Muse played six special teams snaps against the Bears in Week 5.

Vikings tight ends have been solid while handling many different tasks, but their average of 7.3 yards per reception could be one of the areas boosted by Hockenson, who has averaged 11.1 yards per reception during his NFL career.

The Vikings are 6-1 through their first seven games and are scheduled to visit Washington (4-4) at noon (CT) Sunday.