Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson needs surgery after suffering a broken arm in a single-car accident early Tuesday morning. As reported by the Free Press' Dave Birkett, the accident occurred in Farmington Hills on westbound I-696 at around 2:25 a.m. ET after Burleson lost control of his car. He apparently was distracted by pizza falling off his front seat; alcohol was not a factor in the crash.
Luckily, Burleson was wearing his seat belt, so all he suffered was a broken arm (in two places). Per the report, he is set to undergo surgery later on Tuesday, indicating that he is going to miss an extensive period of time. An exact timetable is unknown, but he could potentially miss the remainder of the season given that the Lions have already used their designated to return injured reserve slot on Montell Owens.
This is just an unbelievably bad blow to the Lions' offense. Burleson was coming off his best game in years -- 6 catches for 116 yards -- and the wide receiver corps was just starting to come together with the return of Ryan Broyles. On the season, Burleson actually leads the Lions in receptions with 19, but now Broyles will be called upon to step in for him, at least in the slot.
It's unclear at this point what the Lions plan to do at wide receiver to combat the loss of Burleson. With Patrick Edwards still recovering from an ankle injury, they may need to go sign somebody just for depth reasons. From a talent standpoint, perhaps this injury will cause them to pursue a trade. We all saw last year how injuries at wide receiver can hurt the offense, and the Lions can't afford to let that happen again.