Detroit Lions minicamp: Ryan Broyles doesn't expect to go on PUP list
8:39 AM, June 14, 2013
He didn’t stumble upon any magic elixirs or go to the Adrian Peterson school of miraculous rehabs, but Lions receiver Ryan Broyles did learn a secret from his first torn ACL that has made recovering from his second much easier — patience.
Broyles was a full participant in all three days of minicamp this week, six months and one week after undergoing surgery on his right knee.
Last spring, while recovering from the torn left ACL he suffered as a senior at Oklahoma, Broyles pushed his knee beyond its limits in rehab as he rushed to get ready for his pro day.
That decision paid off. He ran well enough and looked crisp enough in predraft workouts that the Lions took him in the second round.
But it came at an expense.
“Last year I kind of beat my knee up trying to get ready for the combine,” Broyles said. “You’ve got to be smart about what you do and last year I had to hurry up before my quad was strong enough and before my hammy and my glut was strong enough, I was out there running so I could get ready for the pro day. I ran at the pro day 3½ months (after surgery). I didn’t really start running here until about five months, so I think that extra month and a half really helped me out.”
Slowly, Broyles has progressed from range-of-motion exercises to pool work to light running to practice.
He took part in just position drills at the start of organized team activities last month, and by the time minicamp opened this week he had convinced coaches he was ready for full team work.
Through it all, Broyles said he hasn’t dealt with as much knee pain or tenderness as he did last year, when he developed a bone bruise on his knee that stayed with him for months and had him wondering mid-season if his explosiveness would return.
“This time, there’s really not much pressure on my patella right now because my quad is firing correctly, so I think that has a large part to do with it,” Broyles said. “Rest is really the biggest thing, and that’s what I’ve learned this time around. And really I couldn’t really do that (last year) because I had to get ready to go in and show what I have. So this time around it’s worked out a lot better for me. I still got a ways to go, but continue on this pace.”
Broyles said he doesn’t expect to start on the physically-unable-to-perform list when training camp opens next month, and if he can avoid that and continue on his current progression he could provide a huge lift for a Lions offense that barely addressed the receiver position this off-season.
“I think we saw some of (what he can do) late in the year last year before he got hurt,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “He had a really good game against Houston, he made some big catches on third down against Jacksonville, too, so he’s a guy that can be a chain mover and at the same time can be explosive in there with some catch and run.”
After barely playing the first month of last season, Broyles showed glimpses of the skillset that made him the NCAA’s all-time leading receiver during a productive six-game stretch preceding his injury last fall.
He had touchdowns or first downs on his first six career catches and averaged 14.1 yards a reception for the season while playing primarily in the slot.
“It gave me a lot of confidence,” Broyles said. “A new guy coming into the league, you’re kind of thinking, ‘Is this for me? Am I going to be good enough?’ And I kind of had some ups and downs before I really got into the mix and then when I went out there and made some plays, it just built my confidence. So throughout this whole off-season I didn’t really have to press too much. I feel like when I come back and I come back healthy, I’ll be ready.”
With the Lions’ off-season program finished, Broyles said he’ll spend the next four weeks working out at Athletes Performance Institute in Pensacola, Fla.
He’s not quite 100% yet, but he said he’ll be ready for whatever role coaches have in mind for him this year.
“The body heals,” Broyles said. “People on the outside looking in, it might affect the way they think about me, but I know I’m a hard worker and the body’s going to heal, so I just got to take my time on that and just continue to come back and be as strong as I can.”
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