Injury Notes: Zylstra, Cowboys, Giants, Kancey

Shane Zylstra will likely miss the upcoming season thanks to a knee injury. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Lions tight end suffered a “serious and significant” knee injury that will keep him off the field for six months.

Rapoport notes that Zylstra is set to undergo more tests “but there isn’t a lot of optimism.” As Justin Rogers of the Detroit News tweets, the tight end suffered the injury while taking a “low shot” during a red zone drill.

Zylstra emerged as one of Jared Goff‘s favorite red zone targets in 2022. The tight end finished the season with only 11 catches for 60 yards, but four of those receptions were touchdowns. The Minnesota State product had another three catches during his rookie campaign.

Fortunately for Detroit, the team has some depth at tight end. The organization used a second-round pick on Sam LaPorta, and the rookie is expected to slide right into the starting lineup. The team is also rostering the likes of Brock Wright, James Mitchell, and Derrick Deese.

More injury notes from around the NFL…

  • A bruised toe has kept Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs off the practice field, Mike McCarthy told reporters (via Jon Machota of The Athletic on Twitter). The injury isn’t serious, and it sounds like the coaching staff is simply playing it safe with the star defender. Elsewhere in Dallas, tight end Luke Schoonmaker revealed that he’s dealing with a partial tear of his plantar fascia (via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News on Twitter). The rookie said the injury is more challenging to deal with than a complete tear, but the player is still hopeful he’ll be able to return to the practice field in a week or two.
  • It sounds like Giants backup offensive lineman J.C. Hassenauer is set to miss a significant chunk of the upcoming season, if not the entire campaign. Coach Brian Daboll told reporters that Hassenauer injured his triceps and will require surgery (via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News on Twitter). The lineman is expected to be sidelined “long term.” Second-round rookie John Michael Schmitz is expected to lead the depth chart, but Hassenauer’s injury could open opportunities for Jack Anderson and Shane Lemieux.
  • There was a scare at Buccaneers practice today when first-round defensive tackle Calijah Kancey was carted off the field with a leg injury. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that an MRI showed nothing serious, but the Buccaneers may still take it easy on the rookie so he’s ready to go for the start of the season. Per ESPN’s Jenna Laine, the Buccaneers organization had been thrilled with Kancey’s preparation for his first professional season. “He’s adapting to the scheme mentally, and then he was adding his physical part to it,” coach Todd Bowles said (via Laine). “He’s putting it together quicker than normal rookies do. So hopefully it’s not that bad and he can get back.”
  • Texans fullback Troy Hairston was carted off the field today with an undisclosed injury, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 in Houston (via Twitter). The former edge rusher went undrafted out of Central Michigan last year but caught on with the Texans. He changed positions to fullback and beat out Andy Janovich for the starting gig, resulting in Hairston getting into 16 games for the Texans last season.
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