Lions’ Brandon Pettigrew out for season with torn ACL

Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew will spend the remainder of the season on injured reserve, after tearing his ACL during Sunday’s 21-14 loss to the St. Louis Rams.

This is the third time Pettigrew has torn his ACL. The first occurrence was while he was still in college at Oklahoma State University, and the second came during his rookie year with the Lions in 2009. It’s also the third time Pettigrew will finish the season on injured reserve.

Pettigrew, the 20th overall pick of the 2009 draft, has seen his production decline each of the last four years. Since an 83 catch season in 2011, he has a total of 117 catches over the last four seasons. Following the addition of Eric Ebron in 2014, Pettigrew has only seen 15 targets each of the last two seasons.

“Saddened by that because he’s such a warrior and does a tremendous job for us,”  head coach Jim Caldwell told “Tough guy, great leader and he’s just had some difficulty. He’s had a couple of them now, I guess three total. He knows how to fight back, that’s for sure.”

2016 will be the third year of Pettigrew’s current four year contract, which has a base salary of $3.65 million.

With Ebron and Tim Wright as the only two tight ends remaining on the roster, it is expected that another will be added before the team’s upcoming Monday Night Football match-up with the New Orleans Saints. Rookie Casey Pierce is on the practice squad right now, but might not be the direction the team wants to go.

“We’re evaluating that,” Caldwell said.