Nate Burleson (13) and Calvin Johnson (81) - photo from Detroit Free Press
(DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson's season is in jeopardy after he broke his arm in two places in a single-car accident on westbound I-696 at about 2:25 a.m. today in Farmington Hills.
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.
Burleson, who leads the Lions with 19 catches through three games, is scheduled to undergo surgery later today. He was returning home from watching Monday Night Football with teammates at the time of the accident.
Police say alcohol was not a factor.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz is scheduled to meet with reporters this afternoon to talk about the incident.
Burleson had his best game as a Lion in Sunday's 27-20 win at Washington. He caught six passes for 116 yards, his most since Dec. 30, 2007, and helped set up the Lions' go-ahead field goal with a 47-yard catch early in the fourth quarter.
With Burleson out, the Lions will turn to Ryan Broyles as their No. 1 slot receiver.
A second-round pick last year, Broyles is recovering from his second torn ACL in as many years and made his season debut with three catches for 34 yards Sunday.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Broyles' snaps were limited - he played 17 plays - against Washington as a precaution.
"Every time he's gone in the game for us, he's made plays. He did the same thing in this game," Schwartz said. "It's hard to keep a guy on a pitch count when you're only with 46 (active players on game days). It's a lot easier in a preseason game when you can control the reps. But not only was he able to do that, but he was able to come back in the second half and also play for us. Every day, he gets a little bit better, and every day, he gets a little bit more into the groove physically and mentally and things like that. It's a long road back.
"A lot was made of their quarterback and his recovery from an ACL, but Ryan's no different, and he's still working his way back."
Burleson, 32, missed most of last season with a broken leg and restructured his contract to stay with the Lions last off-season.
One of the team's most influential locker-room leaders, the Lions lost eight of 10 games after Burleson's injury last year.
Detroit Free Press