Jul 27, 2013; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson (13) during training camp at the Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Lions WR Nate Burleson cleared for contact

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Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson suffered a broken arm at the end of September that has kept him on the sidelines, but he has finally been medically cleared for contact. The medical clearance paves the way for Burleson to return in Week 12 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which is something that he is fully expected to do.

Burleson is back at practice and working towards returning to the starting line up, but he will never forget the day a pizza caused him to be shut down for a few months.

“I don’t want to give away too much, but things are looking up for Nate Burleson,” Burleson said, via the Detroit Free Press. “Catching some balls, getting high fives. My friends are talking to me again. Things are finally looking up. That pizza set me back, man.”

At the time of his injury, Burleson was leading the Lions in catches and receiving yards. Now that he is able to return, he will have a major impact.

“His leadership and his energy,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “Just being able to have that in that huddle brings confidence to the group. And not that they don’t have that, but he just has the creditability to go in and kind of get those guys going and be kind of like that, I don’t know if he’s the mascot for the receivers, but he certainly gets them going and brings a bunch of positive energy to our team.”

Considering the Lions are in a dog fight atop the NFC North, the Lions couldn’t have had better timing for Burleson’s return. They will hope to see immediate results on the field.

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