Suspended Titus Young returns to practice field for Lions

Obstreperous Titus Young returns from suspension

11/28/12 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Nov 18, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and wide receiver Titus Young (16) chat before the game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-US PRESSWIREDetroit Lions' wide receiver Titus Young has returned to the practice field after a nine-day suspension for repeated disruptive actions. Young's suspension came on the heels of a game in which he reportedly lined up incorrectly multiple times, but was preceded by boneheaded personal fouls, physical confrontation of teammates, and complaints about not getting the ball enough.

Young obviously said all the right things to the coaching staff for them to allow him to rejoin the team, but it seems the coaches are really going to test his character before they let him see significant playing time again. Young ran with the second team at practice, and went last during the individual wide receiver drills. If Young can put up with the demotion and do whatever he can to help the team, that will be a great sign for his future outlook, but if he continues to complain, he could very well be cut and struggle to find a job.

Young's role with the team is unlikely to be bigger than a rotational No. 3 wide receiver for the remainder of the season, due to the emergence of Ryan Broyles and a solid Thanksgiving performance from Mike Thomas. If Broyles had played poorly in Young's absence, Young might have had a shot at regaining his No. 2 receiver role, but Broyles, a rookie out of Oklahoma, grabbed six catches for 126 yards.

On a per game basis, Broyles is actually playing much better than Young has this season. Broyles started getting significant playing time after the Nate Burleson injury, and in the six games since the injury (five as the No. 3 receiver, one as the No. 2), Broyles is averaging 3.5 catches for 51.2 yards. Young, on the other hand, has played in ten games (five as the No. 3 receiver, five as the No. 2), and is averaging 3.3 catches for only 38.3 yards. Broyles' 126 yards in his lone game as the No. 2 receiver were better than any single-game output Young had all season.

Young will be fighting for snaps as the No. 3 receiver with Mike Thomas, and will have to play much better than he has the past month to earn a significant role in the offense again. As for now, Ryan Broyles has the privilege of playing opposite of Calvin Johnson, and is the Lions' No. 2 receiver to own in fantasy leagues.
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