Broken leg could sideline Nate Burleson as long as 8 months

Pressure has been on Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson as he has only one touchdown reception through the first six games.

Now, there is more pressure. That is because Nate Burleson, the starter opposite him, will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a broken right leg during the third quarter of Monday’s 13-7 loss to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Burleson, 31, landed in an awkward position following his only catch of the game and was done. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Burleson will require surgery and the timetable for a return could be as long as eight months. That could put the future of Burleson with the Lions in question as he has only one year remaining on his contract.

The Lions will now have to lean on Ryan Broyles, a second-round pick this year, and Titus Young, a second-round pick in 2011, to pick up the slack opposite Johnson. It could mean expanded roles for tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler as well.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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