T.J. Hockenson’s absence will mark the Minnesota Vikings’ remainder of the 2023 season, according to head coach Kevin O’Connell. During the Week 16 clash against the Detroit Lions, O’Connell disclosed that Hockenson sustained a season-ending ACL and MCL injury.

Hockenson’s exit from the game occurred in the third quarter following a catch in the midfield. Shortly after, his absence was confirmed, with ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler initially reporting a bleak outlook for Hockenson’s condition. The recent report substantiates those concerns, leaving the Vikings without Hockenson for the rest of the season.

The talented tight end had displayed remarkable performance this season, securing 95 catches for 960 yards and five touchdowns, setting personal bests in receptions and yards. He had been a pivotal asset to the offense, especially with starting quarterback Kirk Cousins already sidelined.

With Hockenson out, the responsibility of contributing to the Vikings’ offense falls on other tight ends on the roster, namely Josh Oliver, Johnny Mundt, and Nick Muse. Their role becomes crucial in compensating for the production Hockenson brought to the team. Stepping up from other players is essential for the Vikings’ postseason aspirations, as strong performances in the final two games are imperative for their playoff qualification.

Sitting at a 7-8 record, the Vikings currently hold the last spot outside the playoff bracket. To secure a postseason berth, they’ll likely need consecutive victories and assistance from other teams. Despite the challenging scenario, Minnesota is still in contention.

Their pursuit for the playoffs begins in Week 17 against the Green Bay Packers, followed by the regular-season finale against the Lions. These upcoming games will determine the Vikings’ fate in the playoff race.

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