Scott Linehan says replacing Nate Burleson will be a "collective" effort

Posted Sep 26, 2013

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan says that when it comes to filling Nate Burleson's void, the Lions' have players who can do the job

Nate Burleson has been a key component of the Lions offense through the first three weeks of the season.

The veteran receiver leads the team in catches (19) and is coming off a 116-yard game in Detroit 27-20 win in Washington last week.

But a broken forearm, suffered Tuesday morning in a single-automobile accident, has sidelined Burleson indefinitely. It’s time for other players to step up, most notably second-year receiver Ryan Broyles, who got his first game action of the season in that Washington game.

"I thought he played well," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of Broyles. "We called his number a couple times, (he) made some nice catches, (in) crucial situations. (He) played about the right amount of snaps we felt for that game. We just feel like he’s right on track to continue to progress that way."

It’s expected that Broyles, who played just 17 snaps last week in his comeback from a second ACL tear in as many years, will play a much bigger role as long as Burleson is sidelined.

"I think Ryan (can) handle the snaps that we ask him to play," Linehan said. "I think he’s capable of handling any amount of snaps, really.

"He’s in a position where he doesn’t have to play every play, because of the position he plays for us and we have some other guys we can use. But he sure is a guy we have a lot of confidence in."

Linehan said it won’t be one player trying to replace Burleson, but rather a collective effort.

"Ryan (Broyles) got his first taste, did a nice job last week," Linehan said. " (Tony) Scheffler has always been in a position to step up in a similar role. We have guys that can do the job."