Broyles itching to get back onto the football field

Posted May 12, 2012

When players are injured and can't participate in practice, they always talk about how important it is to still go out on the practice field and get their "mental reps".

Receiver Ryan Broyles, who the Lions selected 54th overall in the draft two weeks ago, won't participate in any practices during this weekend's rookie mini-camp in Allen Park after November surgery to repair a torn ACL.

Dressed in shorts, his blue No. 84 jersey and a white hat, there Broyles stood at practice Saturday morning getting his mental reps in while the other receivers did drills and competed against their fellow-rookie cornerbacks.

"Not being able to participate brings me back to after I got hurt at Oklahoma when I had to miss four games," Broyles told Friday.

"I'm sitting on the sideline just so eager and competitive wanting to go in there and show what I have. I've been working the last five-and-a-half months to get to where I want to be. I get here and they're pulling the reigns on me."

The Lions think they have a pretty good idea of what Broyles has to offer and are more worried about getting him back on the field for training camp and the regular season. Broyles, though, is a competitor and it's easy to tell by his body language that not being on the field with his fellow rookies is eating at him.

"They want to hold me back, which is reasonable, but it's just not fun having to sit back," he said.

Broyles was shadowing the movements of the other six receivers in drills Saturday morning, eager for his turn. If the coaches wouldn't have been paying attention, he probably would have tried to slip into line.

Exactly when his opportunity at the cones and cornerbacks will come is anyone's guess.

"We'll see," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said when asked if Broyles would be ready Week 1 against the Rams.

"There's a lot of ground between now and then, but he's on a good path. He's had a good rehab so far, he showed it in his pro day and he's shown it here. It depends on what happens between now and then."

In the mean time, Broyles can only stand back and take his mental reps and wonder when it'll be his turn to show everyone what he's got.