By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – For all the emotions that might go through a person’s mind upon blowing out an ACL, fear of what comes next could be the foremost concern.
For Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles, that was not an issue when he tore the ACL of his right knee in December of 2012.
An injury to Broyles’ left knee had ended his college career at Oklahoma in November of 2011, so he had been through the rehabilitation process before.
“I wouldn’t say it was easier,” Broyles said, “but I definitely knew what to do.”
Broyles took Wednesday off after limited participation at training camp Tuesday. He said the knee was a little sore Wednesday, as was expected eight months after surgery, but that it was just maintenance.
“You don’t really know how your body feels, especially coming back from a knee injury, so [it was] one of those days it was just talk to the doctors and just seeing how I feel,” Broyles said. “There’s no need to go out there and beat my knee up if I feel anything, so I was just taking the day off.”
Broyles has had more time to recover from this latest surgery – after the first he had to rush to get ready for the NFL combine – and has been able to participate much more in preseason practices.
“Definitely my right knee is healing different than my left knee,” Broyles said. “Being able to be on the football field every day and practicing … Last year I was in and out. This year I’ve gone straight through, so that’s a good thing.”
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said the team is being cautious with Broyles since he is so recently removed from the ACL injury. Even though he missed practice Wednesday, the coach said the receiver is moving along at the expected pace.
“It’s just sort of a normal process,” Schwartz said. “There’s no setback or anything like that … It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that he’s well ahead of where he was last year, so if he has a day that he’s sore and needs to rest it, things like that, that’s just part of the whole thing.
“He’s doing very, very well,” Schwartz added, “and he’s worked really hard to do it. What we’re trying to do is prevent the setback.”
If the Lions succeed in keeping Broyles healthy, he will be one more weapon to distract defenses from superstar Calvin Johnson – or, more likely, to benefit from defenses distracted by Johnson. Either way, Broyles has the possibility to be a big add for the Detroit offense this season.