Nate Burleson: I’ll return soon, reach 1,000 yards this season

AP

Lions receiver Nate Burleson doesn’t expect the broken arm he suffered in a car accident to cost him much playing time, and he still has a goal of 1,000 receiving yards this year.

“When I get back, I’m still going to try to go after that 1,000 yards,” Burleson told the Detroit News. “So that means I’ve got to have enough games to do it, which means I should be back soon.”

Burleson had 239 yards through three games, meaning he needs 761 to get to 1,000. To have a shot at 1,000 yards, he’ll probably need to return as quickly from his broken arm as Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski did last year, when he missed just five games after breaking his arm in November. And unlike Gronkowski, Burleson will need to avoid breaking the same arm again.

The single-car accident happened when Burleson was reaching down to grab a pizza that was falling off his passenger seat, and Burleson said he’s OK with being the butt of jokes about that.

“In the time of it happening, I honestly knew that jokes were going to come,” he said. “I try to see the lighter side of everything. Even when I was sitting there waiting on the ambulance, I was like, ‘This is going to be funny a few days from now.’”

It’s funny in large part because Burleson can laugh about it. Burleson made his remarks at a ceremony for the Ed Block Courage Award, which Burleson received last year for the way he worked to recover from a broken leg. This injury is once again revealing Burleson as a man who always stays upbeat.