NFL notes: Pizza to blame for Nate Burleson’s broken arm

Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson (13) with a reception against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.
Duane Burleson/AP
Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson (13) with a reception against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

Two days after a victory that for this franchise was downright historic, the Detroit Lions are facing another dose of adversity.

Receiver Nate Burleson broke his arm in a single-car accident early Tuesday after he reached over to keep two pizza boxes from falling off the front passenger seat, authorities said. Coach Jim Schwartz stopped short of writing off the rest of Burleson’s season, but surgery is scheduled for Wednesday.

Burleson’s car hit a center median wall on a highway in suburban Detroit and he was taken to a hospital. Michigan State Police Lieutenant Mike Shaw said there were no indicators of alcohol on the scene or on Burleson’s person after the crash at 2:25 a.m.


The team didn’t say which arm was broken.

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Burleson has a team-high 19 catches — 10 for first downs — and his 239 yards receiving is second to Calvin Johnson on the Lions. The 11-year veteran had six receptions for 116 yards, his highest total since 2007, on Sunday to help Detroit win at Washington for the first time in franchise history.

The Lions signed Burleson in 2010 to complement Johnson, and he has done that when healthy. He had 128 receptions for 1,382 yards and nine TDs in his first two seasons in Detroit.

Burleson broke his right leg last year and missed the last 10 games of the season. He has 437 career receptions for 5,408 yards and 38 TDs with the Lions, Seahawks, and Vikings.

Raiders’ Pryor reeling

The Raiders will begin a short week of preparation with uncertainty about who will start at quarterback against the Redskins as Terrelle Pryor recovers from a concussion.


Pryor was knocked out of Monday night’s 37-21 loss at Denver in the fourth quarter after a hard hit to the helmet by Wesley Woodyard. Pryor was replaced by Matt Flynn.

Pryor leads the team with 198 yards rushing.

The players had the day off Tuesday and Pryor is not allowed to talk to the media until he clears his concussion protocol. But he did send out a tweet earlier in the day apologizing to Raiders fans for the loss.

‘‘I don’t remember much! Good hit by whoever it was. I heard our team fought well. We will be back!’’ Pryor wrote.

Pryor added that he was ready to go, but that will be determined by the doctors.


Flynn had been expected to start after Oakland gave up two draft picks to acquire him from Seattle in April and gave him $6.5 million in guaranteed money. But Flynn struggled in the preseason as he dealt with a sore right elbow and was beaten out by Pryor.

Despite the lopsided loss Monday, Pryor had his best game as a passer in his brief career, going 19 for 28 for 281 yards and a TD in his second straight turnover-free game.

His night ended early when he got hit running a quarterback draw with Oakland trailing by 23 points. Woodyard had a helmet-to-helmet hit on Pryor but it did not appear to be illegal because it came when Pryor was running the ball between the tackles.

Pryor remained in the game for two plays before medical staff checked him out and decided to take him back to the locker room to determine whether he had a concussion.

Cornerback Tracy Porter also had a concussion and his status is unknown for this week. The Raiders are already down one starter in the secondary with safety Tyvon Branch out with an ankle injury.

The Raiders’ secondary had a full night against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Manning was 32 for 37 for 374 yards and three TDs. The Broncos, who gained 536 yards, are ranked first in total offense. On Sunday, the Broncos play host to the Eagles, whose defense ranks 29th in pass defense, giving up 323 yards a game.

Spencer out for year

Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer will have season-ending surgery on his left knee and may have played his last game for the Cowboys. Spencer, 29, is on a one-year contract with the franchise tag for the second straight season, so he will be a free agent when he’s healthy again. He’s making $10.6 million this season . . . Coach Ron Rivera isn’t sure if three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason will return to the starting lineup Oct. 6 when the Panthers visit Arizona. Carolina (1-2) has a bye this week. Rivera quietly changed up the starting lineup on Sunday, replacing Beason — who’s struggling to get healthy following knee surgery last October — with veteran Chase Blackburn at weakside linebacker. The move worked out well as the Panthers sacked Eli Manning seven times and forced three turnovers in a 38-0 rout of the New York Giants. Beason only played one snap on defense . . . Eagles starting safety Patrick Chung sat out practice after hurting his shoulder against Kansas City . . . The Cardinals’ injury woes at outside linebacker just got worse, with rookie Alex Okafor out for the season with a torn biceps. Arizona, which plays Sunday in Tampa Bay, placed starters Sam Acho (broken leg) and Lorenzo Alexander (foot injury) on season-ending injury reserve Monday.