Allen Park — With a need for depth at linebacker, the Detroit Lions promoted Anthony Pittman off the practice squad on Friday.
Pittman, a Wayne State and Birmingham Groves alum, has spent the majority of the year with the Lions as an undrafted rookie. He appeared in all four of the team's preseason games, recording 14 tackles.
"I think Anthony has done a really good job going all the way back to the spring and through training camp," Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "I think he’s someone that has shown me a lot of consistency and improvement. Certainly, with those linebacker roles, a lot of responsibility in that assignment also comes into special teams. So that will be a big part of it too.
"He’s a guy that’s shown us that he’s ready to go in the special teams category," Patricia continued. "He’s able to kind of take on some of those challenges and be maybe a matchup type of player that can do some different things – that body type, that longer linebacker body type that can kind of do some of those things. We’ll see how it all shakes out here, but he’s a guy that I think has been around and has worked really hard. I would feel confident if we had to put him in in some of those situations.”
The Lions are in need of Pittman's services for the season finale after placing their top three linebackers on injured reserve this month, including Christian Jones and Jahlani Tavai in the past week.
The Lions ruled out defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson (shoulder) for Sunday's game against Green Bay and listed five others as questionable, including kicker Matt Prater, who came down with an illness on Friday.
With Robinson, the team can effectively place him on injured reserve on Saturday and promote another player off the practice squad, ensuring a preferred young asset is protected as part of the offseason roster.