Sunday, July 26, 2015, 11:13am
The Lions return all five of their receivers from the end of last season — Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Jeremy Ross, Corey Fuller and Ryan Broyles — plus add TJ Jones (back from IR) and Lance Moore (free agent) to the mix. This competition will be fierce, and someone notable is guaranteed not to have a job at the end of camp.
The numbers are there, and so is the production from the two-headed monster of Johnson and Tate. But Detroit got little out of its third receivers last season (primarily Ross) and is looking for someone to step up as a complement this season.
Moore would seem to be the favorite, as the most experienced of all the candidates for the job, both in years in the league and years in this offense. He grabbed 346 passes for 4,281 yards in eights seasons with the Saints, seven of which occurred with current Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi on staff.
The Lions third WR could have some fantasy value in their passing offense. Detroit touted that experience when signing Moore, and quarterback Matthew Stafford has gone on and on about how Moore sees things in this offense that other receivers don't. Competency in the offense, and reliable route-running, were issues last year, the story said. The piece also added the staff still likes Fuller a lot, because his size and top-end speed allow him to stretch a defense the way Detroit's other No. 3 possibilities cannot. Broyles and Jones are both smaller receivers who do their best work underneath, and it's hard to see a situation where both make the team.
Monday, July 6, 2015, 8:17am
A former second-round draft pick, Broyles is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract with the Lions. The former all-time receiving leader in NCAA history, he was buried deep on the depth chart last season, getting on the field for just 34 snaps after battling back from a serious leg injury for the third consecutive year.
It's a make-or-break camp for Broyles. Last year, the Lions only viewed him as insurance for the durable Tate, but with opportunities in the slot and fielding punts, Broyles could finally emerge as the weapon the Lions envisioned when they drafted him in 2012.
Prior to a disappointing single-season stint in Pittsburgh, Moore had several productive years with the New Orleans Saints, playing in a similar offense to the one coordinator Joe Lombardi has installed in Detroit. The story went on to say Jeremy Ross served as the team's primary slot receiver last year, but despite playing more than 700 offensive snaps, he recorded just 24 grabs for 314 yards and one score. Ross is so far the early favorite taking a majority of the snaps, but the team is hoping Broyles or Moore make a push. In an offense like the Lions, a productive slot receiver could end up on the fantasy radar in deeper leagues at least.
Monday, April 6, 2015, 10:39am
WR Ryan Broyles led the Lions with 11 catches for 144 yards during the preseason, but was a nonfactor in the regular season. He was active for just five games, when Calvin Johnson was dealing with a high ankle sprain, and caught two passes for 25 yards.
But HC Jim Caldwell says he saw growth from Broyles during practices, and is hopeful he'll play himself into the picture at receiver now that he's finally gone a year without suffering a major injury.
"I think he's a guy you have a lot of respect for because he's had three major injuries, and he's fought his way back from them, and I think that's hard to do," offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said last week. "Listen, when the guy's been in there, he's been productive. And we're excited to see where he is now after a full season of not coming back from an injury. He's had a full year to be healthy, and we're excited to see what he does here in the offseason and heading into camp."
The story went on to say now that Broyles is healthy and freed from the perpetual rehab process, Detroit is hopeful he can turn his focus to improving his game. But it's not that simple for Broyles. Even when he was healthy last year, he was not a factor because he filled a virtually identical role in the offense as Golden Tate. And Tate is the much better player. So it stands to reason Broyles could be healthier this year, and better this year, and still not be a part of the offense's plans.
Sunday, January 4, 2015, 3:22pm
Sunday, December 28, 2014, 3:11pm
Sunday, December 14, 2014, 3:09pm
With Bush out yet again, Theo Riddick can be dialed up as a Sneaky Start, especially in PPR formats. In the four games that Bush has missed, Riddick has averaged 4.8 catches for 53 yards and 0.5 TD. That’s 13.1 FP in PPR formats, or about what Lamar Miller has averaged as the #12 RB this season. We’re not expecting that level of production, but he can be used as a low-end RB2 or a flex in PPR and as a RB3-type in standard. Joique Bell also gets a bump with Bush out. He has averaged 18.5 touches when Bush has been out. The Lions are not running the ball well, but the volume is there.
Lions WR Calvin Johnson aggravated an ankle injury against Buffalo, and I’m hearing he could miss a week or two because of it.
That would probably be a smart move by Detroit coach Jim Caldwell, because in 37 snaps last week against the Jets and 28 snaps Sunday against the Bills, Johnson was invisible. Totals: three targets, three catches, 19 yards, no touchdowns.
The Lions have essentially been without Johnson the last two weeks anyway. As the story points out, it makes a lot of sense to make sure he's healthy before getting back out on the field again, even if it means missing time. Golden Tate becomes the team's WR1 and could draw tougher coverage as a result, but has excelled the past two weeks with a combined line of 15-250-1 on 19 targets. Jeremy Ross, Corey Fuller and Ryan Broyles could all be more involved with Johnson out.
Moments after Jim Schwartz was carried off the field in Detroit, Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Calvin Johnson has aggravated his sore right ankle and the team has not ruled out the possibility the injury is long term.
"I won't be certain if it's a long-term issue, but he did take a pretty good whack right there on the side of his leg," Caldwell said. "They looked at it, but they'll evaluate him further -- probably tomorrow -- and get a good look at him."
Johnson will undergo further testing in the coming days, and his status for next week's divisional game in Minnesota against the Vikings has yet to be determined. But the mention of "long term" should get owners' attention. Golden Tate could be targeted as the team's WR1 without Johnson on the field. That would leave Jeremy Ross, Corey Fuller and Ryan Broyles as guy who could see a bump up in snaps and targets.
Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6:31pm
Lions WR Golden Tate (hamstring) was added to the injury report Thursday after taking limited practice reps. Midweek downgrades are generally not good, but we’ll see what kind of work he gets on Friday. Jeremy Ross, Corey Fuller and Ryan Broyles stand to benefit if Tate can’t play. The slot receiver Broyles stands to benefit the most.
Monday, September 8, 2014, 5:51pm
Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 2:37pm
Lions WR Kevin Ogletree has spent the entire preseason working with the first group, but his hold on the starting slot receiver position seems a bit tenuous. Ryan Broyles has had a very strong preseason and appears to be at least pushing Ogletree at the spot. Same with Jeremy Ross, who can play both spots, and possibly even Fuller, who would be an intriguing option there.
Durham played well at times for the Lions, but when Detroit signed Golden Tate this offseason there was one less roster spot available for a wide receiver, and it appears that Durham will lose the numbers game to be one of the backups behind Tate and Calvin Johnson.
Friday, August 29, 2014, 9:51am
Broyles finished the preseason with a team-best 11 catches for 144 yards, seemingly doing more than enough to make the team. But his reps are a bit curious. He never repped much with the ones, and even against Buffalo, he was out there playing with the third-stringers late in the fourth quarter.
We have Broyles penciled in as the team's WR3, but as the article states, he hasn't played much with the starters.
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