Shutdown Corner

Falling pizza causes Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson to break arm in single-car accident

Anwar S. Richardson
Shutdown Corner

Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson was involved in a one-car accident overnight and sustained a broken arm, according to a press release by the team. Burleson will undergo surgery Tuesday, and his season appears to be in jeopardy.

The Detroit Free Press'  Dave Birkett is reporting that Burleson's accident occurred because a pizza fell off his front seat around 2:25 a.m., which led to the receiver breaking his arm in two places. Here is a portion of Birkett's report:

Burleson was driving a 2009 GMC Yukon SUV when he was distracted by pizza falling off his front seat, according to Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw. He lost control of the car and struck the center median wall.

Burleson, who was wearing a seatbelt, was transported by emergency medical responders to a local hospital, a police statement said.

The Lions confirmed “there was no alcohol involved” in Burleson’s accident.

“We will provide appropriate updates when more information on Burleson’s condition becomes available,” the Lions said in a press release.

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Burleson caught six passes for 116 yards during a 27-20 win against Washington this past Sunday. It was his best performance since he had 119 receiving yards and two touchdowns for the Seattle Seahawks against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 30, 2007.

Last year, Burleson was placed on injured reserve because of a broken leg. Detroit lost eight of 10 games without Burleson and finished 4-12. Burleson restructured his contract with Detroit this past offseason to remain on the roster.

Burleson’s potential season-ending injury is a huge blow to Detroit’s offense.

The Lions will look to Ryan Broyles, a second-round pick in 2012, to step in for Burleson. Broyles had three receptions for 34 yards against Washington this past week. Detroit’s other receiving options are Patrick Edwards and Kris Durham.

In addition, Burleson is one of the leaders in Detroit’s locker room, and by no coincidence, former Lions receiver Titus Young unraveled last year when the chief was not around. Lions receiver Calvin Johnson is soft-spoken, but Burleson is the person most Lions players look to for guidance.

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