It’s a strange ending to Pettigrew’s time in Detroit, as it seemed like he was just days away from returning to the active roster. He had returned to practice from the PUP list two weeks ago, starting the clock on Detroit’s 21-day window to either activate him to the 53-man roster or end his season. On Tuesday they ended his season, but surprisingly put him on the reserve/non-football injury list instead of the normal injured reserve list. This suggests that it was not the ACL tear from last December that Pettigrew is dealing with. In fact, Dave Birkett is reporting that Pettigrew’s knee is structurally sound.
This means that he is dealing with a separate issue and the Lions chose to move on from him rather than wait it out again. The move is expected to save the Lions $4.35 million next year according to Over The Cap, but he’ll still count as $1 million in dead space.
Pettigrew was drafted in the first round by the Lions in 2009. In 2014, the Lions signed him to a four-year deal worth $16 million. Over the course of seven seasons, Pettigrew racked up 301 catches for 2,965 yards and 17 touchdowns.