Pettigrew apologizes for Lions' latest after-the-whistle penalty

Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew says he's sorry for his actions in the team's latest loss.

Pettigrew was called for a personal foul in the fourth quarter of Detroit's 31-17 loss in New Orleans on Sunday night. He made contact with an official who was trying to get between him and Saints safety Roman Harper after the whistle.

"I want to sincerely apologize to my teammates, my coaches, the Lions organization, fans and the NFL for my actions during the game on Sunday. In the heat of competition, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me," Pettigrew said in a statement Tuesday. "I know better and my unintentional mistake cost my team. I've never acted this way before and it won't happen again. I am fully committed to helping the Detroit Lions win with class and in a manner that our fans will respect."

Lions coach Jim Schwartz discussed Pettigrew's penalty Monday and didn't sound concerned about possible additional discipline.

"The referee on the sideline said, 'I stepped in-between two players and he didn't know that was me.' That wasn't what got flagged," Schwartz explained. "What got flagged was the fact that he was continuing an action after the snap. In that situation, you are in a 2-minute (offense) and you are down two scores. You need to get your butt back in the huddle and get the next play and not worry about getting the best of somebody that made a play."

Detroit has lost five of seven since a 5-0 start and has drawn criticism for the on-field behavior of its players. Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh is serving a two-game suspension for stomping on a Green Bay lineman in a Thanksgiving loss to the Packers. In addition to Pettigrew's personal foul, the Lions had two other after-the-whistle penalties as well as three offensive pass interference calls for a total of 11 penalties for 107 yards.

Schwartz said Monday he met with the team captains on the plane ride home from New Orleans, likely to address the costly penalties.

"Obviously, everything on the field is a reflection of the organization, it's a reflection of the head coach, it's a reflection of all the coaches, it's a reflection of the players," Schwartz said. "It's not a presentation we want. It's something that puts a team in a bad position, and selfish play won't be tolerated."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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