Tight end Brandon Pettigrew tore an anterior cruciate ligament on Thanksgiving Day 2009. A little more than eight months later, Pettigrew was back on the field doing much more than what many would have expected. He's practicing at least once per day and participating in some contact drills, even while wearing a brace on his knee.
If he has a hitch in his gait, it's barely noticeable. And on at least one play this week, Pettigrew displayed enough speed to get past linebacker Julian Peterson and catch a nice seam pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford.
"He's had a really good rehab and we don't want to set him back by trying to do too much too soon," Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz said.
At this rate, it seems quite reasonable to expect Pettigrew to be ready for a significant role in the season-opening game at Soldier Field. That has to be the best-case scenario the Lions could have imagined when the injury first occurred.
If Pettigrew does make it back sooner than expected he will provide a boost to the Detroit offense, but he's not likely to give any fantasy teams much of a boost, especially with the Lions having acquired Tony Scheffler.