The Detroit Lions missed the playoffs in 2013, which meant players were free to head to the nearest beach and start sipping umbrella drinks once the regular season ended.

But not Ryan Broyles.

The receiver had suffered a third consecutive season-ending injury -- this time a ruptured Achilles tendon -- and was committed not only to returning to health in 2014, but staying that way.

So he headed to familiar territory: Oklahoma.

Broyles hails from Norman and became the NCAA's all-time leading receiver for the hometown Sooners. He headed back home this offseason to undergo two-a-days for most of January.

And February.

And March.

And -- yep, you guessed it -- even April.

General manager Martin Mayhew said earlier this offseason that Broyles attacks rehab harder than just about any player he has ever seen, and that regimen has Broyles closing in on a full recovery.

He participated in the Lions' first round of OTAs this week, both at receiver and kick returner. And that was enough to put a smile on his face.

"I'm gettin' right, man. I really am," Broyles told MLive after Wednesday's practice. "(Rehab) is not fun. It's not anything I wanted to have happen. But I just got to be smart, at the end of the day.

"I'm always a positive person. Everything happens for a reason, and this will be a good testimony for me years on. Just got to continue to work, and whatever comes my way, I'll continue to attack it.

"But it sure is good to get back out here and play football again."

Broyles is well on his way to a full recovery, but it's unclear what kind of role he'll have once he's back.