Maverick Receiving Record-Holder Shane Zylstra Re-signs with Detroit Lions

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Shane Zylstra, Maverick football’s single-season and all-time receiving record holder, has re-signed with the Detroit Lions after a season-ending knee injury during 2023 training camp.

According the Detroit Free Press, Zylstra was signed March 4 to a one-year contract. He returns for the 2024 season as one of three tight ends currently on the Lions roster. Returning standout Sam LaPorta was the third top vote-getter for 2023 Rookie of the Year. Behind LaPorta is backup tight end James Mitchell.

Zylstra was among the Lions’ 2023 receiving corps before he was hit in the knee by teammate Khalil Dorsey. Announcing the injury, Lions Coach Dan Campbell said, while the hit was legal, it was the type that “shouldn’t have happened” on the practice field.

Campbell suffered a similar season-ending knee injury during 2009 training camp as a tight end with the New Orleans Saints.

“He was a pivotal part of our success last year once we started turning the corner,” Campbell said of Zylstra back in August. “And he just does everything right, man. He works, he’s a grinder.”

Detroit went on to win the NFC North title. It was the Lions’ first conference win since 1993. The team fell one game short of the Super Bowl losing 34-31 to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship. The 49ers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 25-22 in Super Bowl LVIII, a team the Lions defeated 21-20 in the Chiefs home season opener.

Playing at the wide receiver position with the Mavericks, Zylstra was moved to tight end in the pros. Early reports that he has dropped down to 215 pounds has fueled speculation that Zylstra may be considered for a wide receiver spot.

Zylstra, 27, of Spicer, Minn., finished his Maverick football career with school records of 227 catches, 4,297 receiving yards, and 54 touchdown receptions. He also broke the single-season record for catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns previously held by another Maverick and NFL standout, Adam Thielen.

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