Lions receiver Ryan Broyles 'ready to go,' offensive coordinator Scott Linehan says
The Detroit News
September 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm
Allen Park — As the media surrounded receiver Ryan Broyles on Wednesday, Nate Burleson poked his head in and said, “Take my word for it — Broyles is ready.”
It sure seems like it. Broyles has been working his way back from ACL surgery — his second in two years, one on each leg — since December. He says he’s ready. Burleson says he’s ready. And on Thursday, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said he was ready.
Whether coach Jim Schwartz is ready to activate him won’t be determined until Saturday.
“This is a big week,” Linehan said. “With Pat (Edwards, receiver) banged up a little bit right now, Ryan has stepped up his role and his reps this week. He’s definitely close, and if called upon, he’s ready.”
Edwards, primarily an outside receiver, injured his ankle early against Arizona last weekend and hasn’t practiced all week. Broyles is primarily a slot receiver, but if he is active, the Lions can move Burleson to the outside.
“We have a little more depth there than you are giving those other guys credit for,” Linehan said. “(Broyles) doesn’t have to play every down. He’s going to be called on either to spell Nate (in the slot) or we can move Nate around if we need to.”
Broyles doesn’t care how or how much he’s used; he just wants to play.
“During the preseason, I probably played 10 snaps a game so they definitely could control my snaps,” he said. “Now if you’re up, they expect you to be out there all game. They’ve got to throw me out there to see if I’m ready.”
He said he knows he’s not ready to play 30 or 40 snaps in a game, but believes he is close to full strength.
“My time’s coming, though,” he said. “I’m going repetition after repetition (in practice), so I have done everything and I am gaining speed to this point.”
Receiver Calvin Johnson is looking forward to Broyles getting back on the field, too. It’s another weapon the defenses have to worry about.
“Broyles, he’s real savvy for a young guy in the slot,” Johnson said. “He started to come along last year before he got hurt, so it sucked to see him get hurt last year. Hopefully when he gets back in the game, he’ll pick up where he left off.”
Broyles’ ability to find open spaces in coverage would be valuable this week. The Redskins like to blitz, and that leaves receivers in man coverage.
“If he’s killing it in the slot, I don’t know how much it will help me,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if they’ll actually move the safeties. But we’re going to have single-high safeties, so we’re going to have opportunities. As long as he’s doing his job, he can help us win.”
There is, Broyles said, a mental hurdle he still needs to clear, but he won’t be able to do that until he gets on the field, gets the adrenaline pumping and takes those first few hits.
“I do more probably in therapy than I do on the football field,” he said. “You prepare yourself off the field and then once you get your shot on the field, it’s almost secondary. I really don’t think about it (the injury) at all.”
Broyles, who had his first ACL surgery Nov. 24, 2011, was active for the first time in Week 3 last season and didn’t see any significant playing time until Burleson broke his leg in Chicago in Week 7.
“I don’t know for sure, but he might be further along this year,” Linehan said. “He’s ready to go.”
Linehan said the coaches and the medical staff have walked the line between not easing Broyles in and not rushing him back. But he has progressed so much in the last couple of weeks, there doesn’t seem to be physical reason to hold him back.
“He’s chomping the bit,” Linehan said. “He’s a true competitor and he wants to be out there. But he also knows that there has been a plan and he’s been through it. He’s been on track the same way, but the last two weeks he’s looked more and more like he’s ready to go.”
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2013 ... z2fRbRr9kp