No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson set a Detroit Lions rookie record Sunday, generating three sacks in a 36-27 win over the Washington Commanders.
The first-round selection played with extra motivation from five-year-old Hudson Gazsi, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Sept. 7.
“This game is dedicated to Hudson, who is a kid who just got diagnosed with leukemia,” Hutchinson said after the game, via Eric Woodyard of ESPN. “He’s a big Lions fan, he’s from my area. I sent him a video before the game. He was cheering me on. I’m just happy to have good games to spread causes to kids like that. Just raise a lot of awareness for things like that.”
Before the game, Hutchinson recorded a video for Gazsi in the stadium.
“Just keep pushing through and keep hanging in there,” Hutchinson told Gazsi in the video. “I know you’re kind of going through it right now, but hopefully you find a little motivation in watching our game on Sunday and keep rooting for me and put on the little eye black in support of me, and I’m gonna have you on my wrist on my game tape in a couple hours, so it’s gonna be a really good time, and I can’t wait to meet you, man. Go Lions.”
Go the Lions went.
Detroit sprinted out to a big lead, and Hutchinson and the defense slammed the door shut late to pull out their first victory of the season.
Hutchinson became the third rookie drafted in the top 10 to earn three-plus sacks through two career games, per NFL Research, and the fourth-youngest player to record three-plus sacks in a game (only Nick Bosa in 2019 and Vernon Maxwell and Greg Townsend in 1983 were younger).
“That’s pretty damn cool,” Hutchinson said. “But I think it’s a culmination of every guy on that defensive line. It’s everyone just doing their jobs and I got a lot of the fruits of it this week, so I’m just blessed, and I thought I made the most of my opportunities this week and it’s a full team effort on that defensive line.
“Sacks are a very tedious thing, so you need everyone clicking and I thought we were clicking today.”
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