With injuries keeping Brandon Pettigrew and Casey FitzSimmons out of practice, depth at tight end was getting a little thin. Because of that, the Lions decided to sign former Michigan Wolverine Carson Butler. To make room on the roster, kicker Swayze Waters was released.
Butler was signed by the Packers after not being drafted but was released in July. His path to the NFL was quite a roller coaster, and he actually ended up entering the draft with a year of eligibility remaining at Michigan. The reason he did that is because the coaches had moved him to defensive end, and rather than transfer to another school, he simply went pro.
Honestly, Butler was lucky to even be on Michigan's team last year. A few years ago on St. Patrick's Day, he and a teammate beat up a student in a dorm, mistaking him for someone else. That's right, they beat up the wrong person. That ugly incident got Butler booted from the team, but Lloyd Carr brought him back the following summer. It looked like he would be Michigan's starting tight end last season, but he entered Rich Rodriguez's doghouse after being ejected from the Notre Dame game for punching an opposing player in the head. Freshman Kevin Koger became the starter at TE shortly after and played well, pretty much ending any chance Butler had of seeing playing time on offense. Because of his athleticism, the coaches gave him a shot at playing defensive end, which Butler wasn't really a fan of, leading to him going pro.
Butler does have some potential because of his athleticism, but he is nothing more than a holdover until the Lions get Pettigrew and FitzSimmons back.