The Lions didn’t make any big offseason moves for a receiver to play opposite Calvin Johnson in their offense, which means that they’re going to lean on two of the guys who tried to provide some offensive balance last year before getting injured.
Ryan Broyles is making good progress in his return from a torn ACL and Nate Burleson was able to practice with his teammates during OTAs, which should mean they fill the second and third spots in the depth chart barring further physical setbacks. Burleson’s injury cost the team a needed veteran piece on offense, something that head coach Jim Schwartz said makes his return to health all the better.
“He means a lot to our football team,” Schwartz said, via the team’s website. “It’s important to have him out there for our offense for a lot of reasons. Number one he’s a good player, he brings something to the equation that goes beyond what his playing ability is. He still probably isn’t 100-percent, but a lot of guys aren’t 100-percent right now, but he’s able to do able to do what he can out there and it’s a good time of year.”
Burleson has played all the receiver spots in the Lions offense, so he’ll be a frequent presence on the offense whether or not Broyles winds up formally taking the No. 2 job during training camp. With Johnson also on the field, there should be plenty of balls thrown his way as well.