AP Sports Writer
ALLEN PARK (AP) — The Detroit Lions had some explaining to do when they signed free agent tight end Andrew Quarless.
There’s no doubt Quarless could fill a need for the Lions, with tight ends Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew recovering from injuries. The issue is that Lions general manager Bob Quinn said previously he had “zero tolerance” for domestic violence and dangerous weapons, and Quarless was sentenced to a year of probation and fined $1,000 for firing a gun in Miami Beach, Florida, last year.
Quarless has been suspended for the first two games of this coming regular season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. He’s allowed to play during the preseason.
“We are aware of the upcoming NFL suspension of Andrew Quarless,” Quinn said in a statement Monday.
“We have thoroughly researched the incident that caused the suspension and have talked at length with Andrew about this. 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.”
After taking over as GM in January, Quinn told reporters: “The two things that are zero tolerance are domestic violence and dangerous weapons. Those are the two things I’m not going to stand for, I don’t believe in. That’s how I feel.”
Coach Jim Caldwell said after practice Monday that it’s important to look at every case on its own.
“Obviously we take a look at anybody that’s available for us and do our proper vetting and move on from there,” Caldwell said.
“I certainly believe in second chances. Now mind you, I’m not Father Flanagan — some of you guys are too young to know who that is — but we do our due diligence, and obviously I think the young man is certainly worth a second chance.”
The 27-year-old Quarless has been with Green Bay for the past six seasons. He’s caught 89 passes, including a career-high 32 in 2013.
He missed most of last season with knee problems.
Quarless said he talked to a lot of people in the Detroit organization, and the team had a chance to get to know him. He’s eager to put last year’s incident behind him.
“You can judge anybody. First you’ve got to look in the mirror first, before you judge somebody,” he said. “It’s something I moved forward from, and I’ve taken steps to move forward progressively, and I’m just looking forward to being a part of this organization.”
The Lions also announced that they have signed linebacker Dominique Tovell, waived tight end Ben McCord and put wide receiver Andre Caldwell on injured reserve.
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