Wednesday, May 29th, 2024 Church Directory
BECKER’S MATT VELDMAN made his NFL debut as a Detroit Lion against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday at the Metrodome. Veldman was listed as the backup TE and was able to take the field on special teams early in the fourth quarter of Minnesota’s 14-13 win.
BECKER’S MATT VELDMAN made his NFL debut as a Detroit Lion against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday at the Metrodome. Veldman was listed as the backup TE and was able to take the field on special teams early in the fourth quarter of Minnesota’s 14-13 win.

Veldman Suits Up, Debuts At Metrodome

Becker High School graduate Matt Veldman made his official National Football League debut Sunday as a Detroit Lion.

Veldman, a tight end in his second season, missed out all of last year because of an ACL injury suffered in the preseason. This year, he was cut by the team that signed him originally (Jacksonville), then went to Detroit, then to Tampa and finally landed back in Detroit a few weeks ago when two of the teams’ starting TEs went down to injury.
 
The Lions promoted Veldman from the practice squad to their 53-man roster last week. They had him active on their 46-man game-day roster Sunday.
And where does Veldman get to play in his NFL debut? A place he’s very familiar with.
 
The Metrodome.
 
Sunday, the Lions and the Vikings squared off in the final regular season game of 2013. Both teams were disqualified from postseason play, so the game didn’t have  much significance to many of the players -  except one.
 
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL and Sunday I got that chance to live that dream,” said Veldman, the son of Gregg and Stacey of Becker.
Though Veldman was listed as one of two tight ends for Sunday’s game, the Lions utilized the skills of rookie offensive tackle Riley Reiff as a backup to Joseph Fauria, which meant Veldman’s playing time would be minimized -  with most the hope he’d see the field on special teams.
 
“I honestly thought they’d get me in there for a few passing plays,” said Veldman. “But it is what it is and fortunately I got to get out there on special teams.”
 
Veldman was used once on special teams on a punt late in the fourth quarter with Detroit leading 13-7.
 
In Veldman’s past, he’s played numerous times at Mall of America field as a member of junior football, Becker High School football and North Dakota State football. His parents and family have traveled from Becker to the cities, to Fargo and across the midwest to show their support over the years for their proud son and brother.
 
Sunday, they were right there in the stands to witness his first game as an NFL player.
 
“We are so proud of him and all the hard work he’s put in to get to this level,” said Gregg, who was a member of the Dallas Cowboys back in the 1970s before an injury ended his football career. “Matt has never given up and I think if he gets the chance, he’ll turn some heads.”
 
Veldman is signed through next year with the Lions, but his future in the NFL is undetermined. The Lions recently fired their five-year head coach Jim Schwartz, which means it could be a good thing for Veldman or it could be a bad thing.
 
“If the coach they hire doesn’t utilize the tight ends on offense as much, my future with the team could be up in the air,” said Veldman. “But if we bring in a guy who likes to use the TE, maybe I’ll have a better shot at making the team.”
 
Veldman plans to bulk up and work out here in Minnesota during the off-season before having to report to Lions camp in April.
 
“I think the one area I need to focus on is bulking up some,” said the 6’7”, 256 pound athlete. “Other than that, I just got to keep learning and getting  better at being a football player in this league.”