T.J. Hockenson “well on the way” to 100 percent after ankle injury

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Tight end T.J. Hockenson opened his rookie season with a performance that made the Lions’ decision to draft him in the first round look like a wise one.

Hockenson had six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in a 27-27 tie with the Cardinals, but it didn’t prove to be the baseline for his performance the rest of the way. Hockenson had two catches for eight yards in the next two games and wound up with 32 catches for 367 yards and two touchdowns through 12 games.

That’s when his season came to an end due to an ankle injury that he’s been rehabbing throughout the offseason. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell updated the state of that rehab work when he spoke to reporters on a Wednesday conference call.

“As far as I know right now, he’s in his running part of the protocol. He’s on land, he’s running, he’s running routes, doing that thing. You can’t say he’s 100 percent yet, but I think he’s well on the way to getting there,” Bevell said, via MLive.com. “He’s done a great job with his rehab, he’s always been a good worker that way. I know he’s going to get some time with Matthew [Stafford], throwing and catching. So yeah, I’m comfortable with where he’s at with the rehab part.”

Rocky rookie seasons are nothing new for tight ends, so Hockenson’s ups and downs shouldn’t dim his outlook too much as long as he’s healthy when the season comes.