The addition of tight end Eric Ebron does not mean the end of the line for Detroit Lions tight end Joe Fauria who had a successful rookie season in 2013.
He joins Brandon Pettigrew, Fauria, Michael Williams and Matt Veldman at the tight end position.
“Joseph (Fauria) is still going to have a very strong role in the red zone. There’s nothing to say that we’re not going to have three tight ends on the field at some point,’’ Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said. “Every game is different, every game plan is different, but Joe has impressed me in the short time we’ve been able to work with him.
“It’s a bad idea for a player to look like, ‘Hey we just drafted a guy in my position I must be out of favor.’ Joe’s not out of favor. He’s still going to have a big role for us,’’ Lombardi added.
Coach Jim Caldwell was thinking along the same lines.
“Obviously they’re two different guys in terms of skill level,’’ Caldwell said. “Joe has a skill level, Eric has a skill level, a different type of guy. We’ll be able to utilize every bit of talent that we have, that’s for certain.’’
Fauria was signed as an undrafted free agent after the draft a year ago. He played in all 16 games with two starts and finished with 18 catches — seven of them for touchdowns.
Pettigrew signed a four-year, $16 million deal in March. He had 41 catches for 416 yards and two touchdowns in 2013.
Williams, a seventh-round pick in 2013, missed all of his rookie season with a broken hand. Veldman played in one game for the Lions in 2013.