Nate Burleson Injury: Updates on Lions WR's Leg

Tim KeeneyContributor IOctober 22, 2012

Let the disappointment continue for the Detroit Lions.

Not only did Detroit struggle to do anything against the Chicago Bears on Monday night, but it lost key wide receiver Nate Burleson to a right-knee injury. 

 

UPDATE: Tuesday, October 23, 3:46 p.m. ET by Richard Langford

The Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett confirmed that Burleson did indeed break his leg and adds he will be out eight months. Birkett: 

Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson will need surgery on his broken right leg and could miss up to eight months with an injury he suffered in the second half of Monday night’s loss to the Chicago Bears.

At least with an eight-month recovery time table, Burleson would be able to get back on the field for next year's training camp. 

 

UPDATE: Tuesday, October 23, 12:25 p.m. ET by Eric Ball

The worst-case scenario has come to fruition for Burleson. According to Michael Fabiano of NFL.com, the Lions wideout has broken his leg and his out for the year:

Broken leg for Nate Burleson. Done for the year, per coach Jim Schwartz. Titus Young gets a bump in value.

— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) October 23, 2012

After failing to score until the game was all but over versus Chicago, the Lions offense has some major concerns moving forward. Now that they have lost Burleson for the season, the situation has gone from bad to worse. 

---End of update---

 

The news comes from Detroit Lions insider Tim Twentyman:

Burleson being carted back to the locker room. That's a huge loss for the Lions. Knee injury. His return is questionable

— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) October 23, 2012

Moments later, the Lions' official Twitter account revealed that the veteran wideout would not return:

Both Nate Burleson and Amari Spievey are out for the rest of the game. #DETatCHI

— Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) October 23, 2012

Burleson, much like the rest of the Lions receivers, wasn't able to get open against the Bears' talented secondary. In three quarters, he saw just three targets and pulled in one of those for 16 yards.

While the 31-year-old was very quiet in his most recent outing, there's no doubting what he brings to the team's struggling pass offense. 

On the season, Burleson is No. 3 on the team in targets with 40, tied for No. 2 with 26 receptions, No. 3 with 224 yards and No. 1 with two touchdowns. He's certainly not a big-play receiver (8.6 yards per catch), but he's reliable and a solid go-to target on third downs and when Calvin Johnson is octuple-teamed. 

Moreover, with second-year receiver Titus Young struggling in what was supposed to be a breakout season, Burleson's injury comes as an even bigger blow.

Still, though, if the injury turns out to be serious, this would open up an opportunity for both Young, who saw his targets and catches immediately increase after Burleson left the field, and rookie Ryan Broyles, who recorded his first career catches on the night.

We'll be sure to keep you updated on Burleson's status as more becomes known.