With Eric Ebron (hamstring) doubtful to play Sunday against the New Orleans, the Lions turned to their practice squad to add depth at tight end.
The Lions promoted Jordan Thompson to the 53-man roster Saturday, a move coach Jim Caldwell indicated the team could make with Ebron aggravating the injury in practice Wednesday.
To make room for Thompson, the Lions placed linebacker Travis Lewis (quad) on injured reserve. Lewis last played in Week 2.
In addition to Ebron, Joseph Fauria (ankle) will also be out Sunday, so Brandon Pettigrew should play an expanded role.
At 6-foot-4, 248 pounds, Thompson is a versatile tight end, but he'll likely fill a receiving role with Fauria and Ebron out.
"He's going to go hard," Pettigrew said of Thompson. "He's the smartest guy in the room. He knows everything; he knows all of his plays. You don't have to worry about him.
"Dependable is probably a word I could put on him."
Thompson went undrafted out of Ohio in 2013, and Sunday will be his first NFL game. He's the fifth practice squad player promoted to the active roster this season.
"He's very diligent in his preparation," coach Jim Caldwell said. "He knows exactly what to do, understands his role if he does happen to get called up, and he's a guy that can run and catch."
Further reading:Lions practice squad players wait and hope