Just two days after having his best game as a Detroit Lion, receiver Nate Burleson suffered a broken arm Tuesday in a car crash on a Michigan interstate. He was scheduled to undergo surgery just hours after the accident.
Burleson missed most of last season after suffering a broken leg, and the Lions lost eight of 10 games after his injury. The Lions are hopeful he will return this season.
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ESPN said Tuesday’s crash happened after Burleson leaned over to try to readjust a pizza box
falling from the seat of his GMC Yukon shortly before 2:30 a.m. Driving west in Farmington Hills on I-696, Burleson lost control of his vehicle and crashed, police said.
“He had purchased two whole pizzas, and one was sitting on top of the other one, and I guess when he was driving one of them was slipping off, and he was reaching over to push it back onto the seat and overcorrected and hit the median wall,” ESPN quoted Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw as saying.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Burleson broke his arm in two places, but will not be placed on the injured reserve list, a move that would end the receiver’s season.
Authorities say neither alcohol nor drugs were involved.
USA Today noted that Burleson’s six catches
netting 116 yards in Sunday’s win at Washington was his most since Dec. 30, 2007. A catch for 47 yards in the fourth quarter helped set up the Lions’ go-ahead field goal.
Schwartz told ESPN that Burleson was lucky he didn’t suffer more serious injuries.
“Anytime you’re in a highway accident, there’s a potential for worse than broken bones,” he said. “And I think he was fortunate in this case and we were fortunate in this case that it wasn’t more than that.”
Schwartz said Burleson will be back this year. “He’ll be missed. But he’ll be back and he won’t miss a beat.”
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