Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles was forced to leave Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts due to a left knee injury.
Broyles has a history of knee problems (although those injuries were to his right knee) and the Lions WR depth chart was already depleted before he went down. Let's look at what his injury means for both the Lions and fantasy football owners:
For Fantasy Owners
Broyles emerged as a potential fantasy weapon in Week 12 against the Houston Texans as he six passes for 126 yards. On the season, Broyles has 307 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
His status as a sleeper has certainly taken a hit now, but with the current state of the Lions roster, Broyles could still be a solid flex play when he is able to return.
Titus Young has been listed as inactive and Nate Burleson is out for the season, so there are plenty of catches for Broyles to make.
Still, his history of knee problems has to at least worry potential fantasy owners. Luckily, it is not the same knee that sidelined him with the Oklahoma Sooners, and Broyles is building solid chemistry with QB Matthew Stafford,
The risk-reward factor here is definitely intriguing. If Broyles returns before Young he is still worth a possible flex play simply because Detroit has the top-ranked passing attack in the league, but if Young returns Broyles' value drops considerably.
For the Detroit Lions
An injury to Broyles could not possibly have come at a worse time for Detroit. The organization is already battling the issues of Titus Young and rendered him inactive against the Colts.
Without Broyles in the lineup, only Calvin Johnson, Mike Thomas and Kassim Osgood are active receivers (Stefan Logan can play WR as well). QB Matthew Stafford knows how to spread the ball to a multitude of targets, but with tough games against the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons looming, the Lions need all hands on deck right now.
The playoff hopes for Detroit are already slim at best, but losing an emerging target in Broyles does not help. The extent of his injury remains unknown, but his development was clear in recent weeks.
Hopefully, this injury will not be too much of a setback and he will regain his traction within the offense soon.