Wide receiver Ryan Broyles knew the tedious, grueling task he faced. A year after Broyles' NCAA record-setting Oklahoma career ended with a torn left ACL against Texas A&M, Broyles suffered a torn right ACL. At the time, he was midway through his rookie season with the Detroit Lions.
Broyles said the one advantage the second time was he didn't have to rush his rehabilitation.
“Last time I was getting ready for the draft,” Broyles said in a telephone interview with The Oklahoman. “I was running probably earlier than I should have been. It was still a little tender. This time I got a little more rest and focused on the little things.”
Detroit officials held Broyles out of the preseason opener Friday night against the New York Jets. Broyles, though, said he's ready and could have played. He has no doubts he'll be ready for the Sept. 8 season opener against the Vikings.
“I've been practicing every day,” Broyles said. “They say after ACL surgery you usually need about one year to get back and two years to where you feel like nothing ever happened.
“My left leg I'm about a year-and-a-half out. I feel 100 percent on that one. The right one I'm only about eight months out. I still have a ways to go but it's secure and strong enough I've been able to do everything. I'm hoping they let me play (in this week's preseason game).”
Broyles tore his right ACL Dec. 2 against the Colts at Ford Field. Broyles tore his left ACL 12 months, 27 days earlier at Owen Field.
“It was exactly the same, a complete tear of the ACL,” Broyles said. “But this time, the timetable was a little different. I was able to manage things better. I feel good. I'll do the best I can with the opportunity I have and see how it pans out.”
After his injury at OU, Broyles ran for scouts less than five months after surgery, two weeks before the draft. When Broyles clocked a 4.57 in the 40-yard dash in mid-April in Norman, scouts informed him they had seen enough.
“At that time I had no idea what the future might hold,” Broyles said. “You don't have a team. I had to show as good a results as possible. I pushed myself early and got on the treadmill a month ahead of schedule. I probably wasn't as strong as I needed to be.”
There was speculation that the NCAA's all-time leading receiver (349 career receptions) might slip in the draft because of the knee injury. Detroit, though, selected Broyles in the second round with the 54th overall selection.