Allen Park — The Lions made the Saints pay for forgetting to cover fullback Michael Burton on Monday.
Early in the second quarter, Burton caught a 4-yard touchdown pass after running uncovered to the right flat. It was the rookie’s first career score, and he said he saved the ball.
Even though he had just two touches, Burton had one of the most productive games of his first NFL seasons with two catches for 10 yards, including a 6-yarder that gave the Lions a first down. In the first 13 games, Burton had just seven total touches for a combined 23 yards.
As a fullback, Burton has no issues with having a minimal offensive role outside of blocking.
“I really don’t and that’s fine, whatever I can do to help this team win,” he said. “When my number’s called in the pass game, I’ve got to make a play.”
Lions coach Jim Caldwell praised Burton’s hands Tuesday and said the rookie spends a surprising amount of working with the JUGS machine to work on his catching skills, even though he doesn’t have a huge role in the passing game.
Burton made the scoring play look easy, and in doing so, he made offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter look smart because it was a play the Lions have worked on for weeks. Burton knows he’s not the primary target on many plays, so when he has a chance to make a play, he has to capitalize.
“It was a great play call by coach, for sure,” Burton said.