The Detroit Lions got a welcome surprise Tuesday as both wide receiver Ryan Broyles and second-round draft pick Darius Slay were able to fully participate in the first practice of the team’s mini-camp.
Both Broyles and Slay are recovering from knee surgeries that had kept them out until now. Slay had arthroscopic surgery in May to repair a torn meniscus while Broyles is working back from a torn ACL suffered on Dec. 2. Broyles’ return to practice is just over six months removed from the day he injured his right knee.
“He’s had a great rehab,” head coach Jim Schwartz said, via Justin Rogers of MLive.com. “He’s working really hard. He’s done a little bit more each time. …It’s been a long road for him, second year in a row with an ACL. Every time he’s gone out on the field, he’s made plays and he did the same thing today.”
Slay intercepted Shaun Hill twice during team periods and made a strong impression during his first day of mini-camp.
Schwartz stressed that Broyles isn’t completely healthy and still has more ground to cover in rehab. However, it appears the rehab timetable for ACL injuries is getting shorter and shorter. Getting both Slay and Broyles on the field now bodes well for their availability to be unhindered for the start of training camp.