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Brandon Pettigrew’s ankle won’t keep him from playing in season finale

Posted by ttwentyman on December 30, 2012 – 12:31 pm

Brandon Pettigrew’s sore ankle will not keep him out of the Lions’ season finale vs. Chicago today.

The fourth-year tight end practiced for the first time in two weeks on Friday since sustaining the injury in the first quarter at Green Bay Dec. 9. He was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report, but the ankle has responded well to treatment and he’ll try to give it a go. He’s missed the team’s previous two games.

Safety Louis Delmas and cornerback Chris Houston, who were both listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report, are active and will start.

Cornerback Ron Bartell, who the Lions signed just two weeks ago, will start at right cornerback opposite Houston. The Lions like Bartell’s size (6-1, 210) and want to see him in action before the offseason.

Rookie cornerback Jonte Green will likely play the nickel cornerback role. Green had been starting the last couple weeks at right cornerback.

Cornerback Drayton Florence is inactive. He was not listed on the injury report this week and is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Joining Florence on the inactive list for the Lions are: running back Kevin Smith, safety Ricardo Silva, offensive tackles Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard, quarterback Kellen Moore and defensive end Ronnell Lewis.

Andre Fluellen will get the start next to Ndamukong Suh at defensive tackle.


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Sammie Hill ruled out for Sunday; Brandon Pettigrew doubtful

Posted by ttwentyman on December 28, 2012 – 5:00 pm

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew returned to the practice field in a limited capacity Friday, but is listed as doubtful to play Sunday on the team’s Friday injury report.

Pettigrew hasn’t played since Dec. 9 when he injured an ankle in the first quarter at Green Bay.

If Pettigrew doesn’t play Sunday vs. Chicago, he’ll finish the season with 57 catches for 556 yards and three touchdowns. Those are the lowest totals in each category since his rookie season when he played only 11 games because of a torn ACL.

Tight ends Tony Scheffler, Will Heller and Shaun Chapas will continue to fill in for Pettigrew if he can’t go.

The team has already ruled out defensive tackle Sammie Hill for Sunday because of an injured toe. Hill hasn’t practiced all week because of the injury. With Hill out, the Lions will play only one (Ndamukong Suh) of their original four defensive tackles they began the season with. Corey Williams and Nick Fairley are on injured reserve and Hill’s season is now over, too.

Andre Fluellen and Ogemdi Nwagbuo will join Suh in the defensive tackle rotation.

Safety Louis Delmas (knee) and cornerback Chris Houston (hamstring/hip) are listed as questionable. Houston was listed with a hamstring injury on Thursday’s report; the hip is a new development.

Safety Don Carey (knee), receiver Calvin Johnson (knee/ankle) and running back Kevin Smith (thumb) are all listed as probable.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 1 Comment »

Brandon Pettigrew returns to practice

Posted by ttwentyman on December 28, 2012 – 1:05 pm

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew decided the last full practice of the year was as good a time as any to return to the field.

Pettigrew participated in the portion of practice open to the media Friday for the first time since injuring an ankle in the first quarter at Green Bay Dec. 9.

The Lions have missed their second-leading receiver over the past two games he’s missed.

“Anytime you have a tight end that’s a mismatch for other teams it’s a bonus,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said this week. “On third down that’s a short throw to have to make. Most of the time he’s somewhere in front of you and with his body size and hands he creates tough matchups on third down in the red zone.”

Pettigrew is second on the team with 57 catches and 556 yards.

Also returning to the practice field Friday was safety Louis Delmas, who sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday to rest his sore left knee. Delmas has played in each of the team’s last two games.

Receiver Calvin Johnson (knee, ankle) did not practice. He was a limited participant on Thursday, but is expected to play on Sunday.

The Lions will release game designations for Sunday’s matchup with Chicago at 4 p.m. on Detroitlions.com.

Defensive tackle Sammie Hill (toe) missed his third practice this week, putting his status for Sunday in question.

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch did not practice but that was likely due to rest since he’s not been on the injury report all week.


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Calvin Johnson returns to practice; three starters still missing

Posted by ttwentyman on December 27, 2012 – 1:00 pm

Fresh off last night’s announcement that he has received his third-career Pro Bowl nod, receiver Calvin Johnson returned to Detroit Lions practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a sore knee and ankle.

Johnson was voted a starting NFC receiver in the Pro Bowl by the fans, players and coaches Wednesday night. It’s his third-straight Pro-Bowl selection.

Johnson needs 108 yards Sunday vs. Chicago to become the first receiver in NFL history to reach 2,000 yards in a season. He already owns the single-season record with 1,892 yards.

He’ll have to get around Pro Bowl cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings to get the record, though. The Bears held Johnson to his lowest output of the season (three catches for 34 yards) in their first matchup back in October.

The Lions were still without tight end Brandon Pettigrew (ankle), safety Louis Delmas (knee) and defensive tackle Sammie Hill (toe) for the portion of practice open to the media. All three players missed practice Wednesday, too.


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Brandon Pettigrew, three other starters sit out of practice Wednesday

Posted by ttwentyman on December 26, 2012 – 1:08 pm

The Lions were without four starters today as they began on-the-field preparations for the team’s final game of the season Sunday vs. Chicago.

Receiver Calvin Johnson, tight end Brandon Pettigrew, safety Louis Delmas and defensive tackle Sammie Hill were all absent from the portion of practice open to the media.

Pettigrew has missed the Lions’ last two games and hasn’t practiced since injuring an ankle Dec. 9 at Green Bay.

“Pettigrew wasn’t able to play again but again (last week vs. Atlanta), as long as he’s not on IR we’re still hopeful that we can get him out,” head coach Jim Schwartz said Sunday. “Brandon’s a really prideful guy and doesn’t want to be out of the game. He wants to be out there but we’ll just have to see how he progresses.”

Hill injured a foot last week vs. Atlanta and Schwartz said he was being evaluated this week.

Both Johnson and Delmas played vs. Atlanta and it’s been common practice throughout the season to give both players rest during the week.

“(Delmas) seems to be on the upswing there as far as being able to bounce back and do some of the things that he wasn’t able to early in the year,” Schwartz said. “You see some of the plays he makes on the field; he’s a difference maker. Made some big tackles. (Falcons’ TE) Tony Gonzalez had one catch for nine yards and that was on one of our linebackers, so both (S) Don Carey and Lou Delmas did a good job of getting him covered.”

Johnson, who already owns the single-season receiving yards record with 1,892, needs 108 yards Sunday vs. Chicago to become the first receiver in NFL history to reach 2,000 yards in a season.


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Brandon Pettigrew inactive; Delmas to start vs. Falcons

Posted by ttwentyman on December 22, 2012 – 8:01 pm

The Lions will be without tight end Brandon Pettigrew — the team’s second-leading receiver – for tonight’s game vs. Atlanta.

Pettigrew will miss his second consecutive game since injuring an ankle in the first quarter two weeks ago in Green Bay. He is second on the team in both receptions (57) and receiving yards (556) behind Calvin Johnson.

“He’s a big part of our offense,” Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said this week of Pettigrew. “He’s been our second leading receiver and big chain mover and a guy we go to in third down and the red zone.

“You take one of those key components out, it puts a little more of an emphasis on using some other guys, and we’ve got very capable players that are doing a good job of stepping in.”

Tony Scheffler, Will Heller and Shaun Chapas will handle the tight end duties in place of Pettigrew. Heller will make the start.

As he promised Thursday, safety Louis Delmas will be playing and start at free safety. It’s the second-straight start for Delmas, who’s missed a total of eight games this season because of a sore left knee.

The Falcons average 26.5 points per game and have the league’s No. 5-ranked passing offense (287.5).

Having Delmas in the back end of the defense will be key for the Lions tonight.

Joining Pettigrew on the inactive list are: cornerback Ron Bartell, defensive tackle Ogemdi Nwagbuo, offensive tackles Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard, defensive end Ronnell Lewis and quarterback Kellen Moore.


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Brandon Pettigrew doubtful to play Saturday

Posted by ttwentyman on December 21, 2012 – 5:00 pm

It looks like the Lions will be without tight end Brandon Pettigrew for a second consecutive week when they host the Atlanta Falcons (12-2) at Ford Field Saturday night.

Pettigrew, who missed practice all week, is listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report.

The fourth-year tight end out of Oklahoma State hasn’t practiced or played in a game since leaving in the first quarter of the Lions’ 27-20 loss to the Packers in Green Bay Dec. 9 with an ankle injury.

The Lions missed their second-leading receiving last week in Arizona. Receiver Calvin Johnson had 10 catches for 121 yards in a losing effort, but eight other receivers combined for 14 receptions and 125 yards.

Pettigrew is second on the team in receptions (57) and yards (556).

“He’s a big part of our offense,” Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of Pettigrew this week. “He’s been our second leading receiver and a big chain mover and a guy we go to in third down and the red zone. You take one of those key components out, it puts a little more of an emphasis on using some other guys.”

Expect Tony Scheffler, Will Heller and Shaun Chapas to fill in at tight end for Pettigrew.

The team listed safety Louis Delmas as questionable, though he already proclaimed he was playing when speaking to reporters in the locker room on Thursday.

Delmas was limited in Thursday’s practice and Friday’s walkthrough.

The team listed safety Don Carey (knee), cornerback Chris Houston (hamstring), receiver Calvin Johnson (knee), running back Mikel Leshoure (calf) and linebacker DeAndre Levy as all probable.

Kickoff Saturday is scheduled for a little after 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.


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Brandon Pettigrew sits out practice again; Louis Delmas back

Posted by ttwentyman on December 20, 2012 – 1:05 pm

The Lions were still without tight end Brandon Pettigrew for the portion of practice open to the media today. Pettigrew hasn’t practiced or played since injuring an ankle in the first quarter at Green Bay Dec. 9.

The Lions will release game designations for Saturday night’s game vs. Atlanta Friday at 4 p.m. on detroitlions.com.

Safety Louis Delmas returned to practice Thursday after sitting out Wednesday’s session to rest his sore left knee.


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CB Jacob Lacey suffers ‘significant’ knee injury

Posted by ttwentyman on December 17, 2012 – 4:53 pm

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Monday that cornerback Jacob Lacey suffered a ‘significant’ knee injury in Sunday’s 38-10 loss at Arizona that could spell the end of the his season.

Lacey was injured making a tackle on the games opening series. He immediately grabbed at his left knee, but did eventually walk off the field under his own power.

He went to the locker room for tests and was cleared to return to the field at one point, but Schwartz said after the game that Lacey couldn’t run well enough for him to have confidence enough to put him back into the game.

“It’s not ligament or anything like that, but there’s potential it could keep him out the rest of the season,” Schwartz said Monday.

Add Lacey to a mounting list of injured members to the secondary this season. Rookie cornerback Bill Bentley has already been lost for the year following shoulder surgery. Louis Delmas has missed eight games with a knee and Amari Spievey is on injured reserve with a concussion. Drayton Florence missed a significant portion of the season, too, after breaking his forearm Week 2 at San Francisco.

Schwartz did speak positively about the possible return of defensive tackle Nick Fairley and tight end Brandon Pettigrew vs. Atlanta Saturday night.

“Well we haven’t put them on IR and if we don’t put them on IR than I think there’s still a hope in our mind that we’ll get them back or at least a chance that we’ll get them back,” he said. “And we’ll just have to see how they continue to respond to treatment. Neither guy was available to play last week and even though they both worked really hard to try to get to that spot, they just weren’t ready.”


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Pettigrew and Fairley out; Delmas will start

Posted by ttwentyman on December 16, 2012 – 3:38 pm

The Lions will be without starters Brandon Pettigrew (ankle) and Nick Fairley (Shoulder) today vs. Arizona.

Neither practiced all this week after leaving last week’s game in Green Bay with the injuries.

Tony Scheffler and Will Heller will pick up the slack in two tight end sets for Pettigrew.

The team will start Sammie Hill in place of Fairley. Andre Fluellen, who signed with the team earlier this week, is active and will be in the defensive tackle rotation.

Louis Delmas is active and will start at safety. Delmas has missed eight games with a left knee injury and has left two other games.

“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,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said this week when asked how the Lions might use Delmas the rest of the year.

“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. It’s really not necessarily a pitch count as much as it is just trying to conserve his reps. There’s not a specific number in there, but if we can keep him particularly for the fourth quarter, then that’s beneficial for us.”

Joining Pettigrew and Fairley on the inactive list are: tackles Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard, quarterback Kellen Moore, defensive end Ronnell Lewis and safety Ricardo Silva.

Kris Durham will make his second consecutive start at receiver and Don Carey will start opposite Delmas at strong safety.


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