Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
With the final preseason game in the books, a 23-0 drubbing of the Buffalo Bills, it’s time for the Detroit Lions roster to start thinning out. The fourth preseason game is normally the weakest of all of the preseason games when it comes to determining players who can win or lose a roster spot, as most of the 53 spots are already locked up. Still, some players impressed with their play on the field and some others managed to crap the bed, even if the game doesn’t matter.
I have a personal theory that I shall share about why Ryan Broyles played about 329 snaps against Buffalo. It’s somewhat morbid, but I feel coach Caldwell kept him on the field just waiting to see if he would once again get injured, testing his durability. Whether or not that is the case, Broyles took that challenge with gusto, catching seemingly every pass thrown for first downs. Broyles ran routes like a 10 year pro, as the old adage goes, and made his presence known with his sticky hands and nose for the sticks.
There has been constant chatter over the past week about the Detroit Lions cutting Ryan Broyles in final cuts. It came up again amongst media circles this morning and continued to be repeated all through the game. Ryan Broyles is fighting for a roster spot. Did he earn one? I believe he earned it prior to this week, but if he hadn’t already it will be hard to justify cutting him now.
This is the type of game that typifies why Durham’s detractors don’t want to see him on the field. He is targeted too often in the offense and too often does not come up with the catch. One of the incompletions cannot be held against Durham at least, as Dan Orlovsky threw it to the dirt at Durham’s feet, but the others? Not so much.
Durham had at least one drop, while a second looked like one but may have been touched by the defender. Durham was targeted at least four times, possibly five, and he finished the game without touching the ball. Except for that time he dropped it, of course. The saddest part about this is that Durham is almost a lock to make the roster despite games like this. The same reports that Broyles was on the chopping block had Durham making the team ahead of him.