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Detroit Lions: Nate Burleson’s Car Accident is Big Blow to Lions Receiving Corps

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | After missing the majority of last season, there's no doubt Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson was determined to get back on track this year. Unfortunately for Burleson, he may have suffered another season-ending injury.

Burleson was driving home from watching Monday Night Football with teammates early on the morning of Tuesday, September 24, when he was distracted by pizzas falling off the front seat of his SUV.

Burleson swerved into the center median and broke his arm. He was transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries and underwent surgery.

Burleson, 32, leads the team with 19 catches for 239 yards, including six catches for 116 yards in Sunday's 27-20 win against the Washington Redskins.

A leg injury last year kept Burleson out of 10 games, and the Lions won just two of those final 10 games after Burleson was out of the lineup.

He may not warrant the coverage that Calvin Johnson does, but he's a great compliment to Johnson and a great slot receiver. Fortunately, the Lions have Reggie Bush this year, which should help them become less one dimensional with Burleson out of the lineup.

It appears the Lions will lean on Ryan Broyles and Kris Durham to shoulder the load behind Johnson.

Broyles played in his first game of the season against the Redskins as he was recovering from his second ACL surgery in two years.

He had three catches for 34 yards, but I believe he has the most upside between him and Durham.

Despite playing with Matthew Stafford at Georgia, Durham seems to have little to no chemistry with the quarterback.

Last year, Durham was targeted 21 times, but only caught eight passes for 125 yards and one touchdown in four games.

At 6-foot-6, you would think Durham would be an easy target to hit, but he doesn't have the hands or the ability to get open like Broyles does.

While I have faith in Broyles to perform, his shaky knees could come back to haunt him.

There's no doubt losing Burleson is a significant loss. The upside is Burleson could return to the lineup before the season is over, whereas last year we knew he was done for the season.

Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Lions for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can follow Tom on Twitter.

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