How the Lions replaced Nate Burleson against Bears

USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions got various players involved on Sunday to make up for the loss of Nate Burleson.

Coming into Sunday, Nate Burleson led the Detroit Lions in receptions and was behind only Calvin Johnson in targets. Due to his car accident and broken arm from earlier this week, though, the Lions had to look elsewhere in their passing game against the Chicago Bears.

So how exactly did the Lions make up for the loss of Burleson? Matthew Stafford spread the ball around pretty evenly amongst his running backs, wide receivers and tight ends. Here's the breakdown:

RBs: 8 catches on 11 targets, 64 yards
WRs: 7 catches on 15 targets, 102 yards, 1 touchdown
TEs: 8 catches on 9 targets, 76 yards

Believe it or not, but Kris Durham actually led the Lions in receiving with 58 yards on 3 catches. Brandon Pettigrew was just behind with 7 catches for 54 yards. He especially was a lot more involved in the offense than usual, and I'm expecting that to continue with Burleson out for the foreseeable future.

In terms of targets, Johnson led the way with 10. Pettigrew was second with 7, and Reggie Bush was third with 6. Durham and Bell each had 4 targets, and coming in at the bottom of the rankings were Tony Scheffler (2), Theo Riddick (1) and Ryan Broyles (1). (Joseph Fauria, who wasn't targeted at all, did not seem to see much action on Sunday.)

One thing to keep an eye on going forward is how the return of Patrick Edwards changes things. He missed Sunday's game because of an ankle injury, but his return to the lineup should result in him receiving quite a few looks in place of Burleson. At the very least, his return will give Stafford another option in the passing game, and unless the Lions make a trade, it seems like that'll be the only real "addition" to the lineup going forward.

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