Fauria’s future uncertain after TE trade

FAURIA: Detroit’s Joseph Fauria looks on during a Lions practice earlier this preseason. (Detroit Free Press photo)

FAURIA: Detroit’s Joseph Fauria looks on during a Lions practice earlier this preseason. (Detroit Free Press photo)

Lions trade Brindza to Bucs for Wright

DETROIT — Joseph Fauria didn’t even bother to finish getting dressed.

When the Detroit Lions tight end saw a handful of reporters making a beeline for his locker after practice today, Fauria grabbed his belongings and walked out the back entrance without even putting his shirt on.

Fauria’s future with the Lions is a bit tenuous after the team traded backup kicker Kyle Brindza to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright.

Wright is expected to take over as the Lions’ No. 3 tight end, behind Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew, and contribute in the team’s red-zone packages. He caught 26 passes for 259 yards for the Patriots last year, and had a big game (five catches, 36 yards, 2 TDs) in New England’s win over the Lions.

“It’s just business,” Fauria tweeted cryptically after the trade.

Jim Caldwell declined to talk about Wright’s addition on Monday, pending the completion of his physical Tuesday, and he insisted that Fauria’s role with the team going forward is the “same as it’s been.”

“He’s a guy that’s in the thick of it competing,” Caldwell said.

Does that mean Caldwell expects Fauria to be on the team when the Lions set their 53-man roster on Saturday?

“We’ve got competition all the way up to the last day,” Caldwell said. “It’ll be the last whistle that blows, we’ll make that determination and we’ll see.”

Wright, in his third season out of Rutgers, is an athletic tight end who’s already bounced around the league.

He played for the Bucs as a rookie, was traded to the Patriots last year during training camp, then ended up back in Tampa after the Buccaneers claimed him off waivers from New England in June.

“He’s going to help,” Ebron said. “He’s been to a Super Bowl, he’s won one, so right there you know he’s going to help us with his knowledge and how to get there. He’s obviously played with one of the best tight ends in the league in (Rob) Gronkowski, so he obviously knows a lot about how to be good, how to be great. I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of knowledgeable things we can learn from him. Physically, that’s up to when he gets here. It’s scheme based, so he’s a receiver, I’m pretty sure he’ll do great in this offense.”

Brindza, an undrafted rookie out of Notre Dame who’s had a strong preseason, was a long shot to make the Lions roster with Matt Prater on board, but will compete with Connor Barth and Patrick Murray for the kicking job in Tampa.

Brindza has made all three of his field goals (with a long of 51 yards) so far this season and has seven touchbacks on eight kickoffs.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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