Fullback Montell Owens started the season on the IR designated-to-return list after suffering a knee injury in the Lions' third exhibition game against the Patriots in August. (Daniel Mears / Detroit News)
Allen Park — Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles' season is officially over, but fullback Montell Owens’ 2013 campaign is just beginning.
The Lions placed Broyles on injured reserve Wednesday, ending his season three days after he ruptured his Achilles tendon in a win over the Cowboys. Broyles underwent surgery Tuesday.
Despite suffering a season-ending injury in each of his two NFL seasons (torn right ACL) as well as one in his final season at Oklahoma (torn left ACL), Lions coach Jim Schwartz said he doesn't think Broyles' career is in jeopardy.
"Those are not easy to come back from, but he is a tough guy," Schwartz said. "If anybody can come back from it, he can. … His experience in going through it, I’m sure, will help. It is a tough thing to go through for any player, much less three years in a row."
The Lions filled Broyles' roster spot with Owens, who started the season on the IR designated-to-return list after suffering a knee injury in the Lions' third exhibition game against the Patriots in August. Owens began practicing with the team again after Week 6.
"I'm excited," Owens said Tuesday. "Having missed some time, you're always excited to get back with the guys."
Owens made the Lions roster primarily for what he adds on special teams, contributions that were twice rewarded with a trip to the Pro Bowl when he was with the Jaguars. Prior to the injury, Owens was playing on all of the Lions’ punt and kickoff units.
But Owens could also provide a different look for the offense. During training camp, he often lined up in two-back sets with running back Reggie Bush, and although Joique Bell has filled that role, Owens could take back his spot. Owens also had 56 carries for 292 yards, a 5.2-yard average, and three touchdowns when pressed into action during his seven seasons with the Jaguars.
Owens also gives the Lions another veteran leader, though he doesn't necessarily see it that way.
"I'm just me," he said. "If others want to call me being a leader or being a savvy vet, I'm just being me, and I've found that just being me is how I'm best able to help this team."