Ryan Broyles, Tony Scheffler and others ready for increased roles

Posted Sep 24, 2013

Receiver Ryan Broyles will be counted on heavily in the slot following the Nate Burleson injury

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan told last week that second-year receiver Ryan Broyles was "chomping at the bit" to get back on the field.

Broyles did make is return to the field – albeit on a pitch count -- a week ago in Washington for his first regular-season action since tearing an ACL last December.

He played 17 snaps and finished with three catches for 34 yards on three targets.

But with the news Tuesday that veteran receiver Nate Burleson broke both bones in his left forearm in an overnight automobile accident, the Lions can no longer take the approach of easing Broyles back in to the fold.

It’s time for Broyles to show why he was selected in the second-round of the NFL draft last year.

"I’m ready to go out there and just produce," Broyles said Tuesday. "Get my adrenaline going like last game and get my feet wet a little bit and I’m just looking forward to the opportunity."

Broyles said his performance in Washington helped him to clear any mental hurdles he might have had coming off the knee injury.

"Practice is one thing, but the game is totally different," he said. "Bullets are flying a little bit faster. It was good to go out there and get a feel for it."

Expect Broyles to get the bulk of the work in the slot moving forward, but the Lions have plenty of options there.

Tight end Tony Scheffler has played in the slot before and running back Reggie Bush could be used there some, too.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew has even reached out to multiple teams to see what might be available to the Lions via trade.

By no means are the Lions panicking.

"Our position group is asked to play pretty much every position," Scheffler said. "You kind of expect something like this to happen throughout the year.

"We all play different positions. We all practice it. We’re ready for whatever curveball gets thrown our way."

Quarterback Matthew Stafford told reporters Tuesday that he didn’t expect the offense to change at all with Burleson out.

"I’ve played some with Broyles," he said. "Obviously I have a long history with Kris (Durham). Same history with tight ends Tony (Scheffler) and (Brandon) Pettigrew and all those guys. Obviously the same familiarity with Calvin.

"We’ll make it work. I have complete trust and faith in all those guys that we’re going to put out there that they will make plays for us."

Players don’t ever want to see fellow teammates get injured, but in the NFL, they all know it’s not a matter of if, but when.

For Broyles, he’s looking at it as an opportunity.

"I feel like last week I had an opportunity," he said. "I got three targets.

"Definitely a bigger role (this week), but coaches are going to call plays for guys and you have to hope that you make the best of every opportunity.

"When guys get their shot, you hope they do well with it."