The Lions will have to make some tough roster decisions by Saturday’s deadline to get the roster to 53 men.
One of those positions is at wide receiver.
Now that Ryan Broyles is healthy — will he make the team? Coach Jim Caldwell pointed out on Saturday that every catch that Broyles has made in the three preseason games has been for a first down.
After Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and Jeremy Ross (return specialist) there are no clear-cut winners.
Kris Durham played with the starters in the first half in the win over the Jaguars on Friday, but he didn’t have a reception. Neither did Kevin Ogletree.
Broyles didn’t get in the game until late, but had three catches for 44 yards in the fourth-quarter drive that led to the one-yard touchdown by George Winn.
Coach Jim Caldwell said there were a few reasons Broyles didn’t get in until late.
“Calvin was in there, that’s one reason. One pretty tall reason, fast reason. And Golden (Tate) on the other side,’’ Caldwell said. “You know, obviously there’s one ball and we can’t get it to everyone.
“But, one thing of note about (Broyles) is — every ball that he’s caught he’s got a first down. He’s been active, he’s played well and played tough. So we’ve been pleased with him. But, you know it’s a tough battle out there at that spot. There are a lot of guys doing well. We don’t have easy decisions at that spot,'' Caldwell added.
Last year the Lions kept six wide receivers. It seems more likely that they will keep five this year due to the addition of tight end Eric Ebron. Durham has the experience — he made the roster in 2013 — and a comfort level with Matthew Stafford dating back to their college careers at Georgia.
Broyles, a second-round pick in 2012, missed most of his first two seasons with serious injuries — a torn ACL in 2012 and a torn Achilles’ last year.
“I think you can see that he feels good about where he is physically. I think you can see the results,’’ Caldwell said. “He’s got his explosion. I don’t exactly know what he looked like up close and personal before his injuries, but since the spring you can see that he has spring in his step.
“He has an unusual knack of being able to split two defenders with speed and power. His hands are reliable. So, you know he’s doing a nice job,’’ Caldwell said.