With their top two tight ends injured, the Lions bolstered the position Monday, although the move won’t pay immediate dividends.
Detroit signed former Packers tight end Andrew Quarless, who was given a two-game suspension by the league this offseason for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
“We are aware of the upcoming NFL suspension of Andrew Quarless. We have thoroughly researched the incident that caused the suspension and have talked at length with Andrew about this,” the Lions said in the statement. “Andrew has been forthright and honest about the situation and he has gone through the process within the legal system.
“As an organization, we are comfortable with adding Andrew to the roster and look forward to seeing him compete for the rest of the preseason.”
Quarless, 27, spent each of his first six seasons in Green Bay after the Packers made him a fifth-round pick out of Penn State in 2010. He peaked with back-to-back 300-yard seasons in 2013-2014.
Last season, he had just four catches for 31 yards and no scores in only five contests, his season cut short due to an MCL injury. He was released after Green Bay signed former Rams tight end Jared Cook this spring.
In Detroit, Quarless will slide in behind Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew when they are healthy. Ebron is dealing with a right ankle sprain that will keep him out a few weeks but isn’t expected to interfere with the start of the regular season.
Pettigrew, the team’s primary blocking tight end, is still recovering from the ACL he tore at the end of last season. The Lions are hopeful he will return sometime this month.
The Lions tight ends are expected to take on somewhat of a bigger role after the retirement of Calvin Johnson out wide. Ebron, the No. 10 pick of the 2014 draft, has yet to live up to his draft billing, as he has totaled 785 yards and six touchdowns through his first two NFL seasons.