LIONS INSIDER

Lions rule TE Brandon Pettigrew out for Sunday

Posted Dec 20, 2013

The Lions will be without their best all-around tight end and third-leading receiver in Brandon Pettigrew on Sunday

Joseph FauriaTE Joseph Fauria is ready for an increased role Sunday with Brandon Pettigrew out. (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

Tight ends Joe Fauria and Dorin Dickerson, get ready for increased roles come Sunday.

The Lions have ruled out tight end Brandon Pettigrew for Sunday's game against the New York Giants at Ford Field, which means Fauria and Dickerson are in line for more reps.

Fauria has had a big impact in the red zone this season, with seven touchdowns on 12 catches, but his responsibilities will reach far beyond being a big red zone target on Sunday.

"He’s going to have to extend that success," head coach Jim Schwartz said Friday of Fauria. "He can’t just be in the red zone. It’s going to have to be on third down and first and second down."

Pettigrew left Monday’s loss against Baltimore with an ankle injury after getting twisted up following a crucial 18-yard catch at the end of the game. He did not return. Pettigrew is the team’s third-leading receiver with 41 catches this year, but his presence could be most missed as a blocker in the run game and on pass protection.

The Lions are likely going to be without cornerback Darius Slay on Sunday, too. He’s been listed as doubtful as he continues to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery.

The Lions listed cornerback Chris Houston (toe), receiver Calvin Johnson (knee), cornerback Rashean Mathis (illness) and linebacker DeAndre Levy (foot) as questionable.

Levy is the only one on that list who didn’t practice this week, but defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said he’d be surprised if Levy doesn't play.

"Mac (Rocky McIntosh) has been taking his place all week and he has played well when we have asked him to play," Cunningham said. "If I am a betting man then I know who’s playing. Levy will play no matter what. He is a tough guy and is preparing himself. It is too bad he couldn’t get more practice reps but he will be ready."

The team listed safety Louis Delmas (knee), punter Sam Martin (right groin) and safety John Wendling (ankle) as probable.