When Ryan Broyles ran a 40 in the 4.5s five months after tearing his ACL, it could be chalked up to an attempt to impress the NFL and the real test of a reconstructed ACL being cutting, not running in a straight line.
When Broyles participated in OTAs and declared that he would be ready for training camp, it could be chalked up to good old rookie optimism.
Now that Broyles has been activated from the PUP list and cleared to practice, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, we have to finally give him full credit for his amazing recuperative powers and dedication to his recovery.
Birkett reports that Broyles wasted no time commencing the quintessential rookie training camp experience. Head coach Jim Schwartz told him to "button his (bleeping) chinstrap" during one drill. Not that Broyles minded. He "loved" it because it meant that Schwartz "cares."
If Broyles is savoring every bit of being on the field for training camp, you can't blame him. At the time of his injury in November, he was possibly ticketed for the first round of the draft. After the injury, no one could say how far he would fall.
It ended up that he didn't fall very far at all from what his stock would have been if he had been completely healthy. The Detroit Lions took Broyles with the 54th overall pick in the second round, even though they have the best wide receiver in the league and spent a second-round pick on receiver Titus Young last year.
Birkett writes that the Lions will still take it slow with Broyles out of caution, but if we've learned anything from Broyles' accelerated timetable for return to the field, it's that slow isn't in his vocabulary.