When Brandon Pettigrew went down with a non-contact injury in the first half of Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams, everyone's first thought was an ACL tear. During his Monday press conference, Jim Caldwell confirmed the bad news: Pettigrew is season is done.
Pettigrew's statistics were extremely modest this year (seven receptions, 67 yards, one touchdown), but he seemed to have settled into a role as a blocking tight end nicely. The Detroit Lions tried to use both Eric Ebron and Tim Wright in blocking roles this year, but none seemed to have the success that Pettigrew had.
Going forward, the Lions will likely utilize Ebron more. However, they'll need at least one more tight end active on game days. Wright is available, but he has been a healthy scratch since Week 7. Still, Wright is likely to get the nod as Detroit does not have another tight end on the active roster. One other option is Casey Pierce, who is currently on the Lions' practice squad.
Pettigrew's future with the Lions is in question. He is signed through the 2017 season, but the Lions would only be on the hook for $2 million if they chose to cut him this upcoming offseason and it would be hard to justify his $4.55 million dollar salary next year for such a limited role with the team.