The clock has started on Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew to practice after he spent the first 11 weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, a source confirmed on Tuesday.
Pettigrew hasn’t played in almost a year after tearing his left ACL against the Rams on Dec. 13, 2015. He missed all of spring workouts and then was placed on the PUP list prior to training camp.
Detroit has three weeks to decide whether to activate Pettigrew from the PUP list, put him on season-ending injured reserve or release him. The return to practice was first reported by the Detroit Free Press.
Tight end Brandon Pettigrew and receiver Corey Fuller will miss the first six games of the season after the Detroit Lions placed them on the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) list Tuesday.
Pettigrew has not been able to practice since tearing his ACL in a game against the Rams on Dec. 13. Coach Jim Caldwell has refused to answer any questions about his status, his recovery or when he's expected to return.
The Lions TE situation is a bit of a mystery. Eric Ebron has been out and his status is up in the air for Week 1. Matthew Mulligan was cut which made Pettigrew the team's best blocking option. Tim Wright is out for the year. That leaves Cole Wick as the first team option and the story said he could get the start Week 1 if Ebron isn't ready. With Pettigrew out six weeks at least, Wick should have a role even when Ebron is back.
But Detroit practiced without him once again a few hours later.
Pettigrew remains on the physically unable to perform list while rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL. He suffered the injury in a Dec. 13 game against the Rams, and there's no word on what his status is with less than two weeks until the season opener in Indianapolis.
"We'll see," coach Jim Caldwell said. "Got a little time yet here and he's still recuperating."
Pettigrew's absence is exacerbated by the Eric Ebron injury as well. Ebron injured his ankle almost a month ago. He tried to come back once last week, but that lasted only one day before he was back on the mend. Along with Tim Wright, who is already on injured reserve and done for the season, the Lions are without their top three tight ends from last season. Mulligan had been filling in for Pettigrew as the primary blocker, but was swept up in the first round of cuts that came down earlier Monday. It remains unclear how the Lions will fill those duties, the story all said.
Pettigrew tore his ACL in December. Pettigrew won’t be able to practice with the team until he’s activated from the list and could miss up to six weeks of the regular season if he's not ready. Some thought RB Ameer Abdullah could be placed on the list after shoulder surgery, however he was not one of the three names.