Lions Re-Sign Shane Zylstra

After missing all of last season with a knee injury, Shane Zylstra will likely be sticking in Detroit for the 2024 campaign. The Lions announced that they re-signed the tight end today. Zylstra was set to become an exclusive rights free agent.

The former undrafted free agent out of Minnesota State had a brief stint with the Vikings before catching on with the Lions in 2021. After getting into four games as a rookie, Zylstra appeared in 13 games in 2022, finishing with 11 catches while playing in about 25 percent of his team’s offensive snaps.

He was set to take on an even bigger role in 2023 but suffered a knee injury following a hit from teammate Khalil Dorsey during training camp. He was waived/injured by the organization in early August but ultimately reverted to their injured reserve. At the time of the injury, coach Dan Campbell reflected on Zylstra’s value to the Lions.

“He was a pivotal part of our success last year once we started turning the corner,” Campbell said (h/t Pride of Detroit). “And he just does everything right, man. He works, he’s a grinder.”

Sam LaPorta should lead the Lions’ depth chart for the foreseeable future, and the organization is also set to return James Mitchell, who has seen time in 29 games across the past two seasons. Zylstra could slide in as a primary backup with Brock Wright hitting restricted free agency and veteran Anthony Firkser reaching unrestricted free agency.

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