ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Ryan Broyles needs knee surgery again. Titus Young is back in exile.
Ndamukong Suh has been accused of classless behavior by yet another opponent.
The problems keep piling up for the Detroit Lions, who have dropped four straight games, the last three in excruciating fashion at home. Sunday’s 35-33 loss to Indianapolis on the final play came with an even bigger cost. Broyles tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee — another setback for the talented-but-unlucky rookie receiver. Broyles tore the ACL in his left knee when he was a senior at Oklahoma.
“It’s something he’s gone through already,” coach Jim Schwartz said. “Ryan’s a real hard-working player. He did a great job with his rehab last time. It’ll be a bump in the road for him but it won’t be something that he can’t overcome.”
Broyles has 22 catches for 310 yards and two touchdowns. With him out, the Lions (4-8) suddenly have a very thin receiving corps behind star Calvin Johnson. Schwartz said Monday that Young is away from the team again — and he gave no indication when or if the receiver might return. Detroit previously lost Nate Burleson to a season-ending knee injury.
Young was deactivated for Detroit’s game against Houston on Thanksgiving for what Schwartz called “unacceptable” behavior. He returned to practice last week, but was inactive again for the game against the Colts.
“I certainly believe in second chances. There’s no greater story in the NFL or professional sports than redemption and people that overcome situations and things like that. I think we all hold out hope that guys can do that,” Schwartz said. “But you need to make the most of the opportunities you have. When you have an issue or you have something that occurs and you do get a second chance and you’re welcomed back, you have to do everything to take advantage of that opportunity. I think in this case that didn’t happen.”
Young has 33 catches for 383 yards and four touchdowns this season, and he seemed to have turned a corner in late October when he caught the winning TD in the final minute against Seattle.
“I think they made the decision they had to make, and I’m sure it was a hard decision,” said offensive lineman Rob Sims, who was emotional talking about Young. “I think it’s hard all the way around. The guy was trying. He was really trying.”
Suh, meanwhile, has been no stranger to controversy, and he’s involved in another now. Colts offensive lineman Mike McGlynn accused Suh and other Lions of celebrating too much while Indianapolis lineman Winston Justice was on the ground injured after a Detroit interception in the fourth quarter.
“Totally ignorant on their part,” McGlynn told the Indianapolis Star. “Just childish stuff. We’re all battling out there; I don’t know if the hit was legal or not, but clearly he was hurt, and they’re out there dancing and pointing at him and laughing. Just blatant disrespect. They’re good players but there’s no room for that. It’s disgusting, really.”
Suh wasn’t in the Detroit locker room when it was open to media Monday, but Schwartz responded to the accusation.
“What shows on the coaches’ film is we make an interception with six minutes to go and we’re up two scores and looks like it’s a really great chance to be able to win that game. Guys were looking to make blocks, guys made blocks,” Schwartz said. “It’s off after that. There were no penalties on that play. Our guys were rightfully excited. We had a very good pass rush on that. The quarterback, like we had talked about all week, had to elevate his throw.
“We’re excited about it. I don’t think anybody’s reveling in anybody being injured or anything like that.”
Colts players had the day off Monday. Interim coach Bruce Arians said he didn’t see the celebration by the Lions on film.
“It was a block on an interception. I don’t think it was the block as much as it was the celebration for knocking him out,” Arians said. “It’s not on film. But I know that’s why Mike took issue. A bunch of the guys on the sideline saw it and I don’t really have anything to say about it.”
That’s what this Detroit season has turned into: a weekly rehashing of the team’s troubles. The Lions led each of the last three games with 2:00 remaining in regulation, but lost them all.
What looked last year like one of the league’s most promising young franchises is now stuck in a rut. And the road doesn’t become any easier next weekend when the Lions play at Green Bay.
“I wouldn’t say regressed. We’ve gone off track for sure,” Schwartz said. “We’ve made those plays at times this year. We haven’t done it enough.”
AP Sports Writer Michael Marot contributed to this story.
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