Now that the Detroit Lions have been eliminated from playoff contention, there's no reason for tight end Brandon Pettigrew to rush back from an ankle injury that had him on crutches a week ago.
Pettigrew closed out the final year of his rookie contract with a disappointing 416 yards and two touchdowns on 41 receptions. With no reliable receiving options behind Calvin Johnson and the running backs, Pettigrew's 29.7 receiving yards per game were nearly 20 fewer than his career-high total from two years ago.
He's been one of the primary culprits for a Lions receiving corps that has been among the league leaders in drops the past few seasons.
Billed as a prototypical in-line tight end at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, Pettigrew also struggled as a run blocker.
Pettigrew does have the talent to get his career back on track if used in a more conventional offense. If coach Jim Schwartz is shown the door -- as expected -- the new coaching staff will have to decide whether Pettigrew is worthy of a long-term commitment.
The latest "Around The League Podcast" delivered a Christmas gift, analyzing the chaotic playoff picture in both conferences.