Tight end Brandon Pettigrew briefly lost control of his emotions Sunday and it cost the Lions.
Pettigrew was flagged 15-yards for unnecessary roughness on the Lions’ last possession of the game when they were trying to make a late comeback in an eventual 31-17 loss to the Saints.
It was the third and final after-the-whistle penalty incurred by the team Sunday.
“I want to sincerely apologize to my teammates, my coaches, the Lions organization, fans and the NFL for my actions during the game on Sunday,” Pettigrew said Tuesday. “In the heat of competition, I allowed my emotions to get the best me. I know better and my unintentional mistake cost my team.”
Pettigrew took exception to the way a Saints safety Roman Harper threw his leg aside after breaking up a second-down pass and got up to let Harper know about it. Pettigrew was flagged when an official stepped between the two players and was bumped and shoved by Pettigrew.
“I’ve never acted this way before and it won’t happen again,” he said. “I am fully committed to helping the Detroit Lions win with class and in a manner that our fans will respect.”
It’s unclear at this point if Pettigrew will be disciplined by either the Lions or the NFL for his actions.
“(Brandon) Pettigrew had one that, when we’re trying to conserve time being down 14 points late in the game, he needs to get back in the huddle and get the next play going,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday.
“Obviously everything on the field is a reflection of the organization. It’s a reflection of the head coach, it’s a reflection of all the coaches and reflections of the players. That’s not a presentation we want. It’s something that puts the team in a bad position. Selfish play won’t be tolerated.”
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