Before tearing his right ACL last December, wide receiver Ryan Broyles emerged as one of Matthew Stafford's top targets in the Detroit Lions' offense. It took Broyles some time to get up to speed last year because he spent the offseason recovering from an ACL tear in his other knee, but he started to get it going midway through the season. He had touchdown receptions in back-to-back games, and he put up big numbers on Thanksgiving against the Houston Texans, catching 6 passes for 126 yards.
Broyles' injury was certainly disappointing, but the good news is that he appears to be on the right track in the recovery process. This week, he was able to fully participate in the Lions' minicamp, indicating that he should be good to go when training camp opens in July. At the very least, the hope is he'll be ready for the start of the regular season.
Broyles' health will be important for the Lions in 2013 because he is expected to be a big contributor at wide receiver. There's already been talk of him being a potential breakout player from a fantasy football perspective, and Calvin Johnson spent some time hyping him up this week. From the Lions' official site:
"I’m not surprised because I see him on a daily basis," Johnson said Tuesday of Broyles’ recovery. "We see his progression. He’s looking good and moving around good." [...]
"He has a good feel for the slot," Johnson said. "He has a good feeling on how things are moving in there and he does good in there. He did a lot of that in college and he learns fast. He’s a smart kid and I expect more of that from him when he’s out there."
Assuming Broyles doesn't suffer any setbacks and there aren't injuries to other players at wide receiver, the Lions should go into the season with a top three of Johnson, Nate Burleson and Broyles. If Patrick Edwards lives up to the hype he's received, perhaps he could be the fourth receiver, solidifying the two-deep at the position.