During the last few training camp practice sessions held by the Minnesota Vikings, tight end T.J. Hockenson hasn't been much of a participant. Hockenson has been present, but he hasn't been taking part in the team drills, and until now, all we've known is that he has been dealing with some sort of undisclosed illness.
On Monday, Hockenson revealed that the illness he has been dealing with is an ear infection. According to ESPN's Kevin Seifert, the Vikings tight end shared that the ear infection has "affected his equilibrium," which is why he hasn't participated in any of the contact drills in practice recently.
So it doesn't sound like Hockenson has been staging any sort of hold-in recently in order to get Minnesota to give him a contract extension. Instead, Hockenson is dealing with something that just truly hasn't allowed him to practice normally due to the infection's impact on his equilibrium.
The Vikings' regular-season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is just under a month away now, and luckily, Minnesota hasn't given any indication yet that their top tight end won't be ready for that matchup.
Hockenson is coming off a 2022 season in which the Vikings acquired him in a trade with the Detroit Lions midway through the campaign. He went on to appear in 10 games for Minnesota, and during his time on the field in purple and gold, he accumulated 60 catches for 519 yards and three touchdowns.
Hockenson's arrival last season rejuvenated the Vikings' offense a bit, and he quickly emerged as a favorite target for Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins.
He's currently in the final year of his contract and he's scheduled to become a free agent in 2024. However, most have assumed the Vikings and Hockenson are going to agree to a contract extension before the start of the 2023 regular season.
Nothing has been announced yet, but it would be pretty shocking if Minnesota and their top tight end are unable to agree to a new deal in the near future.