After going undrafted in April, the Lions quickly added the 6-foot-7, 255-pound tight end via free agency and haven’t looked back since.
During the preseason, Fauria began to build rapport with quarterback Matthew Stafford, which became evident during the Lions’ first regular season game. On Sunday, Fauria played 11 offensive snaps; He was targeted three times, and all three times he made the catch. One of those receptions was a 1-yard touchdown grab that sealed the win for the Lions.
“He made very good use of the time he was in,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said. “[He] scored a touchdown that was the difference maker.”
I think that the Brandon Pettigrew experiment is ending in Detroit, evident by the fact that Fauria received more snaps in the second half than Pettigrew, so if you’re in need of a tight end, this may be the time to snatch him up off of the waiver wire. If Fauria can improve his run blocking, he could end up seeing a lot of playing time for the Lions, who are in desperate need of another playmaker alongside wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
In Week 2, the Lions will be facing an Arizona Cardinals defense that got carved up by St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook for seven catches, 141 yards and two touchdowns; it could have been three, had it not been for an outstanding play by rookie defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who forced Cook to fumble on what appeared to be a sure touchdown for the Rams.