Originally written October 31, 2012 on NESN.com:
The loss of Nate Burleson didn't sting too much during the Lions' 28-24 win over the Seahawks on Sunday. But, make no mistake, Burleson's absence is a big deal in Detroit. Mike Thomas, the Jacksonville Jaguars' exiled wide receiver, will now be charged with helping to fill the Lions' void at receiver -- a hefty task, even on the NFL's second-best passing offense. The Lions traded for Thomas on Tuesday afternoon with the intention of helping solidify a suddenly thinning receiving corps. But even with Thomas' talent, as well as the presence of Titus Young and Ryan Broyles, Burleson is a difficult player to replace both on and off the field. Burleson has been the Lions' second best wide receiver -- next to Calvin Johnson of course -- over the past two-plus seasons. He's emerged as one of Matthew Stafford's favorite targets and always seems to get open in big situations. His anticipated 60-plus catches and five or s...
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