The Detroit Lions made headlines this offseason at wide receiver by signing Golden Tate to complement Calvin Johnson. What's more, there's been lots of speculation surrounding the possibility of another wide receiver being added via the draft. It remains to be seen if they will trade up for Sammy Watkins or stay put and grab a different receiver, but either way, there's been a lot of buzz surrounding this position.
One player who hasn't generated many headlines this offseason is Ryan Broyles. Actually, he's sort of become an afterthought since he ruptured his Achilles against the Dallas Cowboys last season. Broyles suffered a torn ACL as a rookie in 2012, and his career at Oklahoma came to an end with a torn ACL in his other knee the year before that. For Broyles, the Achilles injury was another major setback.
The good news for Broyles is that he has already been cleared to take part in the Lions' offseason conditioning, according to MLive's Kyle Meinke. Achilles injuries can take a while to come back from, as we learned with Mikel Leshoure a couple years ago, and simply being able to take part in conditioning doesn't mean he's ready to fully participate in practices or anything like that. However, it's a sign that Broyles has already made a good deal of progress in his recovery.
As a rookie, Broyles ended up playing in 10 games, and he caught 22 passes for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns. He showed a lot of promise before going down with a season-ending knee injury, but he only had 8 catches for 85 yards in six games last year. The hope is that once he's fully healthy, he will become the type of player we saw in 2012 and become a regular contributor for the Lions at wide receiver. They certainly can't bank on him taking on that role given his injury issues, but getting a healthy and productive Broyles in the future would be a nice bonus at wide receiver for the Lions.