With a chance to make the playoffs in the rear view mirror, the Detroit Lions announced they have placed starting tight end Brandon Pettigrew on season-ending injured reserve. For the season, Pettigrew had 41 catches for 416 yards and two touchdowns.
The move was first reported by The Detroit News.
To fill Pettigrew’s roster spot, the Lions claimed return man Micheal Spurlock off waivers from the Cowboys. Spurlock spent the first 13 weeks of the season on the Lions roster, but was released after Jeremy Ross won the return duties.
Pettigrew injured his ankle in a week 15 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and missed last week’s game against the New York Giants.
The tight end has seen his numbers decline since the 2011 season when he caught a career-high 83 passes for 777 yards and five touchdowns. In 2012 he hauled in 59 balls for 567 yards with three touchdowns.
Rookie tight end Joseph Fauria, who signed with the team as an undrafted free agent, is expected to take over Pettigrew’s spot with the starting unit. Fauria has show flashes of talent this season, especially in the red zone. On the season, he has seven touchdowns, including a three score effort again the Cleveland Browns in Week 6.
The only other tight end on the Detroit roster is Dorin Dickerson who is not eligible to return to practice until Friday due to a concussion he suffered last week.