This isn't the way Charles Rogers imagined his rookie season going.
While his fellow rookie wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Andre Johnson continue to make their mark with 66 and 51 catches respectively, Rogers' season ended Tuesday with 22 receptions for 243 yards and three touchdowns in five games.
Rogers, the Lions first-round draft pick and the second player taken in the draft last April, was put on injured reserve to let his broken right collarbone heal slowly and thoroughly.
At the time Rogers was injured Oct. 7 in a practice field mishap involving cornerback Dre' Bly, coach Steve Mariucci was hopeful he would be ready to play again in 4-8 weeks.
Every time the Lions took x-rays of the injury it showed good progress in healing, but at the rate it was healing Rogers probably wouldn't have been able to play until the season finale Dec. 28 against St. Louis. And there was no guarantee he'd have been able to get back in shape to play by then.
"It's a disappointment but one thing I know -- I'm going to be back," Rogers said. "It's just another way you deal with adversity. It's just a part of the game. Of course, I'm disappointed, but I know I've got a lot of good football left to play and this is just the beginning."
The collarbone wasn't the only problem Rogers encountered in his rookie season. He suffered a dislocated ring finger less than a week into training camp and missed much of camp and the exhibition season.
Although Mariucci was disappointed Rogers played only five games, he was encouraged by what he saw.
"He was very promising," Mariucci said. "Heck, he had 22 catches and three touchdowns very early in the first quarter of the season, so he was going to have a very productive year."
Quarterback Joey Harrington probably had the most to lose when Rogers was injured because he lost his best big-play threat.
"He was just starting to get comfortable it seemed," Harrington said. "He was starting to go up after balls. He made that (touchdown) catch in Denver and was starting to get aggressive, to make some of the catches we saw in college."