Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/7/12
The next time Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson puts his pads on, he will be 32 and coming off major leg surgery. Burleson suffered a season-ending broken right leg in the Lions' Oct. 22 loss to the Chicago Bears. He understands there is a possibility the Lions could move on without him. He understands that if receivers Ryan Broyles and Titus Young continue to grow and develop, they could make him expendable. So how does Burleson react to that? For starters, he's going to rehab like a demon, making sure he's ready to compete in organized team activities next spring. But in the meantime, he is going to do all he can to make sure Broyles and Young continue to grow and develop. "I talked bluntly to them," Burleson said. "I said with them balling out completely, it could leave me the odd man out. That's just the reality of the game. My job is not to focus on the future; it's truly just to focus on rehab. "Once I heal up, I'm going to come back at a high level, and if my spot is secure on this team, then I'm going to continue do what I do and lead and be the person that I was before I got banged up. If it's not, then hopefully I'll put the young guys in a position where they can easily take my place." Burleson was back at the practice facility Wednesday, still on crutches. He is already lifting weights and keeping his upper body in shape. He hopes to get rid of the crutches in early December and begin the long process of regaining strength. "I'm ahead of schedule," he said. "I guess a lot of people say that, but as of right now, it's more patience with a broken bone. You've just got to let it fuse up and heal together." He sustained a tibial fracture, a broken bone just under the knee, during the Monday night game against the Bears. The bone has been fused back together with five screws and a plate. Amazingly, there was no ligament damage. "I had to go to a trauma orthopedist, and they said (the injury) is more common in car accidents because people lock their legs and because of the pressure and the force slamming up against their body that causes the fractures on the lower body," he said. "I've never broken a bone in my life that severely, so it was weird to deal with. And then to see the pictures of the screws in there kind of freaked me out a little bit -- but I'll have a hell of a story to tell." He still has two years left on his contract, and the Lions are expecting him to make a full recovery. "I guess having a peace of mind comes from knowing the game," he said. "When you prepare yourself for what could possibly be ahead, it gives you a calm spirit, so I'm OK with it. "I'm fine with having to prove my worth again. I'm fine with having to go out there and show people that I'm one of the best complements to Calvin Johnson there is."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Archie Manning defends Cam Newton over press conference

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Cavaliers showing trade interest in Kings’ Ben McLemore

Report: Rockets shopping Dwight Howard

Jim Fassel takes issue with Cam Newton's warmup MVP cleats

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

USWNT start Olympic qualification in style by scoring in first 12 seconds

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker