It looks like the Lions could be without tight end Brandon Pettigrew and defensive tackle Nick Fairley Sunday when the team travels to Arizona to take on the Cardinals (4-9).
Both players missed practice all week and are listed as doubtful for Sunday on the injury report.
Pettigrew hurt an ankle in the first quarter of last week’s game at Green Bay. Fairley injured a shoulder in the fourth quarter. Both players did not return to the game.
The Lions have a few different options if Pettigrew is unable to play. Tony Scheffler and Will Heller would be the primary tight ends. Rookie offensive tackle Riley Reiff, who played some tight end in high school, could serve as the third tight end. The Lions also promoted fullback Shaun Chapas from the practice squad. Chapas could also play the third tight end role.
The Lions released receiver Lance Long to make room for Chapas on the active roster.
“(T) Riley (Reiff) has played that,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Friday. “We also have extra wide receivers. We could go a lot of different places.
“And I don’t want to rule Brandon out also. Brandon’s a tough guy and he’s played through a lot. Even though he hasn’t been on the practice field, he doesn’t really need that to be able to get out there on Sunday.
“So we’ll just see where that goes. We’ll have a lot of different groups to be able to bail us out if we have any tight end issues. We went through the whole game basically last time without him.”
The team has listed safety Louis Delmas as questionable with that sore left knee. Delmas played limited snaps two weeks ago against the Colts, but was inactive last week. He’s missed eight games total this season because of the injury.
“What we try to do when he’s been out there … he wasn’t able to go last week, but the weeks before that … I think it was the Houston game that he went and played every snap and then had to come out I think midway through the fourth quarter,” Schwartz said.
“So we changed it around a little bit and tried to spot him. He still played three quarters or 80 percent of our snaps but just tried to limit him a little bit early and try to keep his availability throughout the game.”
Safety Don Carey (knee), cornerback Chris Houston (hamstring), receiver Calvin Johnson (knee), cornerback Jacob Lacey (foot, Achilles) and tackle Corey Hilliard (knee) are all listed as probable.
Tags: Brandon Pettigrew, Louis Delmas, Nick Fairley
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