LIONS INSIDER

Caldwell: Pettigrew out for season with torn ACL

Posted Dec 14, 2015

For the third time in his football career, veteran tight end Brandon Pettigrew is looking at a long and hard rehab following a torn ACL.

For the third time in his football career, veteran tight end Brandon Pettigrew is looking at a long and hard rehab following a torn ACL.

Pettigrew suffered a torn ACL to his left knee on a non-contact play in the second-quarter of Sunday’s 21-14 loss in St. Louis. Pettigrew planted running a 10-yard in route and immediately fell to the ground clutching his left knee.

Brandon PettigrewTE Brandon Pettigrew (Photo: Detroit Lions)

“He will not be back this year,” head coach Jim Caldwell confirmed in his weekly Monday press conference. "(I'm) saddened by that because of the fact that he’s such a warrior and done a tremendous job for us and is a great leader.”

This is the second time Pettigrew’s torn the ACL in his left knee. He tore it the first time as a rookie in 2009. He tore the ACL in his right knee as a college player.

Pettigrew’s role as a pass catcher in the Lions' offense has diminished over the last few seasons. He caught 83 passes for 777 yards in 2011, both Lions records for a tight end. He had just seven receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown this year, as his role has transitioned to being more of an on-the-line-of-scrimmage blocker in the run and pass games.

Caldwell said the team was still evaluating whether or not they’ll have to add a blocking tight end to the roster in the coming days. Either way, expect second-year tight end Eric Ebron to play an even bigger role moving forward.

“It’s going to require a wider role for a number of guys,” Caldwell said. “But we still have to make certain we put them in positions where they can have success as well.”

Ebron has made strides as a blocker over the last two seasons, but that’s certainly not a strong part of his game.

Pettigrew signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Lions before the 2014 season. He has two years left on that deal with base salaries of $3.65 million in 2016 and $4.35 million in 2017. Only $2 million of that is guaranteed in the form of his $4 million signing bonus.