Breaking Down What Loss of Ryan Broyles, Titus Young Means for Lions Receivers

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IDecember 3, 2012

Nov 22, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles (84) is chased by Houston Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson (25) and defensive back Quintin Demps (27) in the second quarter of the Thanksgiving day game at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have the best wideout in the NFL in Calvin Johnson, but the rest of their receiving corps is an absolute mess.

And matters just got worse. 

According to the team's official Twitter account, rookie slot option Ryan Broyles tore his ACL in Week 13's devastating loss to the Indianapolis Colts

By now, you know about Titus Young's reported sabotage (h/t ProFootballTalk), and based on these tweets from Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, he is all but officially done with the Lions:

Schwartz said Titus Young will not be part of the mix to replace Broyles. Still not with team

— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) December 3, 2012

Seems pretty obvious he's played his last game as a Lion RT @criddering: do you think we will see more Titus now?

— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) December 3, 2012

That leaves Nate Burleson as the second-most productive wide receiver on the roster, a guy with 27 receptions, 240 yards and two touchdowns on the season. 

Tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler have combined for over over 80 receptions and 900 yards in 2012, but at the receiver position, Detroit is extremely thin. 

The trade to acquire Mike Thomas doesn't look so questionable now, does it?

He'll have to step in to draw at least some attention away from Megatron in the final month of the season. 

At least there's not a ton of pressure on the 4-8 team with the playoffs all but mathematically out of the question. 

However, Jim Schwartz doesn't want to finish 4-12, and with Broyles and Young not available, guys like Kassim Osgood and Brian Robiskie—two players without a catch this year—will likely fill out any spread sets.

With many green receivers forced into more prominent roles, don't be surprised if Detroit runs the ball more frequently and doesn't show as many four- and five-receiver looks. 

Also, it would be stunning if Johnson isn't double-teamed on every play during the Lions' last four games.