The Detroit Lions got off to an early start this week, announcing four transactions early Monday morning. The most consequential of the moves was the signing of former Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless. The Lions’ top three tight ends (Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew and Tim Wright) all continued to be sidelined with injury and with the regular season less than four weeks away, the Lions need bodies.
Quarless, however, is a odd choice. First and foremost, Quarless received a two-game suspension just three days ago. The suspension stems from a misdemeanor for discharging a weapon in public last year. Because general manager Bob Quinn has stated his zero-tolerance policy on gun charges, Quinn released a statement explaining the odd signing:
Statement from GM Bob Quinn on the signing of TE Andrew Quarless and his upcoming 2 game suspension. pic.twitter.com/P3bDLweFsl— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) August 15, 2016
Quarless is also coming off an injury-riddled season in Green Bay. He fell to a knee injury in Week 3 and was placed on the short-term IR. He returned in Week 16, but was placed back on the IR list in the first week of the playoffs after his knee reportedly flared up. He only caught four passes for the Packers after hauling in 29 in 2014.
In addition to Quarless, the Lions placed Andre Caldwell on injured reserve. Caldwell was a prime competitor to grab one of the final wide receiver roster spots, but he was spotted wearing a cast on his hand last week and it appears the injury is serious enough to end his 2016 season.
The Detroit Lions have also waived TE Ben McCord and signed LB Dominique Tovell, who was with the team earlier during training camp. Zaviar Gooden suffered an injury during Friday’s preseason game, so Tovell may have been brought back to take his reps at practice while he recovers.