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Quarless embracing second chance with Lions

Andrew Quarless is getting a second chance not all players in this league get.

The veteran tight end was signed by the Lions before practice Monday despite a two-game suspension he incurred after pleading no contest in November to discharging a firearm in public last July.

"I spoke to a lot of people in the organization and I was able to have genuine conversation," Quarless said Monday of the events leading up to his signing. "That was the most important thing. They were able to get a feel for me and it was all good conversation."

In a statement released by the team when announcing his signing, Lions general manager Bob Quinn said the team thoroughly researched the incident and was satisfied with the way in which Quarless was forthright and honest about the situation. Quinn stated he was comfortable adding him to the roster.

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said he believes in second chances, and felt Quarless deserved one.

"Now, mind you, I'm not Father Flanagan, but we do our due diligence, and obviously, I think the young man is worth a second chance," he said. "We had a chance to talk with him, talk to him in detail, and we did, I think, all the things that were necessary at this point."

The decision to add Quarless, despite his pending suspension, was certainly made easier by the current injury situation at tight end.

Eric Ebron has yet to return to practice, and his availability for the Lions' remaining preseason games is still up in air.

Brandon Pettigrew, the top backup, remains on the physically unable to perform list while he rehabs from a torn ACL.

Quarless was at practice Monday, and is eligible to play in the preseason. He caught four passes for 31 yards in five games with the Packers last season. His best year came in 2014 when he caught 29 passes for 323 yards and three scores.

"I consider myself an every down kind of tight end," Quarless said. "I'm versatile. I do whatever it takes to win. That's one of the things I told the GM and head coach. I'm here to win. I'll do whatever is needed to win. You need me here. You need me in the backfield. Whatever you need me to do."

When asked about Ebron and Pettigrew's progress, Caldwell said both were getting better, but didn't give a timeframe for their returns.

Behind Ebron and Pettigrew, the Lions have a mix of veterans (Matthew Mulligan and Orson Charles) and undrafted rookies (Cole Wick and Adam Fuehne).

Now add Quarless to that mix.

"You have to look in the mirror first before you judge somebody," Quarless said.

"It's something I moved forward from and I've taken the steps to move forward progressively and I'm just looking forward to being a part of this organization."

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