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With Lions tight ends injured, Kellen Davis may step in

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Guildford, England — None of the three tight ends who were on the Lions’ opening day roster are healthy entering Week 8.

Starter Brandon Pettigrew suffered a lower leg injury in Week 7, but with him being able to play through it in the game, it’s logical to expect him to play this Sunday. Joseph Fauria has been out since Week 4 with an ankle injury, and rookie Eric Ebron missed the last game with a hamstring injury.

So when the Lions worked out tight end Kellen Davis last week, he joked that the team asked about 65 times whether he had a passport in case it needed an extra tight end for the upcoming game in London against the Atlanta Falcons.

Even if Pettigrew or the other two tight ends are available, there’s a good chance Davis will make his 2014 debut Sunday because Jordan Thompson is the only other healthy tight end, and in his NFL debut, he didn’t have a catch and had one target bounce off his hands for an interception.

“I’ve played a lot of football,” said Davis, now in his seventh year. “I know I can get in this offense and know what I’m doing. I’m just going to try to do whatever they need right now.”

Davis has never filled the stat sheet, but he was a consistent player for the Chicago Bears from 2011-12, starting 15 games each season. He caught five touchdowns in 2011 and eclipsed 200 receiving yards each year.

At a Play 60 event Tuesday at Surrey Sports Park, Ebron barely participated, and Fauria missed it to receive treatment, so it seems either would have to receive some good news to play this week. Whether any of the top three tight ends practice this week will be a telling sign for their availability.

Davis, who played at Michigan State, was a free agent to start the season after being cut by the New York Giants in training camp.

“I was out for a few weeks, didn’t like it,” he said. “It was like being laid off when you know you can still work.”

An Adrian native, Davis is also excited to be closer to his relatives.

“My family loves it because I’m finally going to be home,” he said.