For rookies, the offseason is never really “normal” considering the pre-draft preparation and the newness of the NFL.But his sophomore offseason wasn’t “normal,” either. Pettigrew suffered an ACL tear during the 2009 Thanksgiving Day game and was rehabbing through that injury.
“I've had two ACL tears now,” said Pettigrew, referring to the one in 2009 and the other he suffered at Oklahoma State. “Not having to deal with that is great because I can just focus on football. I can focus on lifting, getting stronger and faster.”
Pettigrew was healthy following the 2010 season, but the NFL was in the midst of a lockout, so teams didn’t hold their offseason programs. That leads us to the present. Having played three full seasons in the NFL (starting all 43 games he has played in), Pettigrew is just now getting to experience the benefit of normalcy during the Lions’ offseason program.
“I think that everyone was looking forward to getting back,” said Pettigrew.
Even without offseason stability, Pettigrew has improved with each season. He finished with 346 receiving yards and two touchdowns in his shortened rookie season, 722 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2010 and 777 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 2011. Now it’s time to see what the benefit of a structured offseason can do for Pettigrew.
“This is very beneficial just to get back and get this team chemistry going,” he said. “Getting all of the guys here together, we motivate each other.“We feed off of each other in the weight room and on the field. It’s huge that we can all get back and do this.”