The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Hawks in the NFL | Week 13

Detroit Lions rookies Jack Campbell and Sam LaPorta each had one of their best games of the season.
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 23, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta (87) Detroit Lions runs upfield after catching a pass against the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta had the best game of his young professional career in the Detroit Lions’ 33-28 win over the New Orleans Saints.

LaPorta finished the game with nine receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown, leading the Lions in receiving yards and all tight ends for Week 13. With his performance Sunday, the former All-American at Iowa broke the record for the most single-game receiving yards by a TE in Lions history.

The Highland, Illinois, product continues to be a big part in the Lion’s offense every week, as only Pro-Bowl wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has more targets and receptions than LePorta for Detroit.

Fellow rookie linebacker Jack Campbell had a bounce back game after a poor performance on Thanksgiving against the Packers, recording nine tackles, two of which were for a loss.

Campbell’s 35 tackles on the year is seventh among all rookies, with fellow Lions starting safety Brian Branch ahead of Campbell at third overall.

More rookies making plays

Defensive end Lukas Van Ness caused a ruckus for Kansas City Chiefs offensive linemen during Sunday night’s 27-19 win for the Green Bay Packers.

Van Ness had two tackles and a sack early in the first quarter on last season’s MVP, quarterback Patrick Mahomes. This year’s 13th overall pick in the NFL draft also had two quarterback hits on Mahomes later in the game.

Fellow rookie Kaevon Merriweather recorded one tackle in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 21-18 win against divisional opponent Carolina Panthers. Fellow Hawkeye Anthony Nelson recorded four tackles for the Buccaneers, and All-Pro left tackle Tristan Wirfs exited Sunday’s game early with an ankle injury.

Former Hawkeye running back Tyler Goodson got his first ever action in a NFL regular season game Sunday, recording two receptions for 11 yards for the Indianapolis Colts in their 31-28 win against the Tennessee Titans.

The All-Big Ten player while at Iowa went undrafted in 2022, being signed by the Green Bay Packers and remaining on either their practice squad or briefly on their active roster before getting waived this past August. Goodson signed with the Colts in September.

Former Iowa safety Amani Hooker had five tackles and two pass deflections for the Titans during Sunday’s game.

Give credit to the big fellas

Former Hawkeye Alaric Jackson and the rest of the offensive line for the Los Angeles Rams notched their second straight game of allowing zero sacks in their 36-19 win against a stout Cleveland Browns defense.

Jackson, who was matched up with defensive player of the year candidate Myles Garrett, allowed only two pressures in pass protection as Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Jackson got so underneath the Browns defensive lineman’s skin that Garrett’s helmet was taken off and stuck to Jackson’s facemask.

Other highlights

Tight end Noah Fant had his most productive game in some weeks, catching three balls for 43 receptions for the Seattle Seahawks in their 41-35 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

In the special teams game, punt returners Desmond King and Ihmir Smith-Marsette made an impact for their respective teams, with King returning two punts for 23 yards in the Houston Texans’ 22-17 win against the Denver Broncos. Smith-Marsette returned four punts for 30 yards for the Carolina Panthers in their loss to Tampa Bay.

Tight end George Kittle had a modest day for his standards, catching four balls for 68 yards for the San Francisco 49ers in their 42-19 beatdown of the Philadelphia Eagles.

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About the Contributor
Cooper Worth, Pregame reporter
Cooper Worth is a Pregame Reporter for The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and mass communication. He is also earning a minor in communication studies and an entrepreneurial management certificate. This is his third year at the DI, previously serving as a News Editor and as a News Reporter covering local government in Johnson County for the DI. Cooper interned for the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa during the summer of 2023 as a general news reporter.