Nate Burleson is optimistic he will return to action Sunday when the Lions host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field. He's not certain, just hopeful.
Burleson was the Lions’ No. 2 wide receiver after the first three games with 19 catches for 239 yards. He broke his left forearm in two places on Sept. 24 and had surgery the next day.
Here are five reasons he will be welcomed back (whenever that is):
1. Fresh legs. He’s been able to work out his lower body since soon after surgery. Plus he’s not battered and bruised like his teammates. He's practiced for two weeks on a limited basis.
2. Matthew Stafford has developed a comfort level with Burleson over the years that he hasn’t had time to with guys like Kevin Ogletree and Jeremy Ross.
3. Burleson is one of the Lions’ best options out of the slot. He wants to surpass 1,000 receiving yards so he’s got some work to do. It would be difficult but don’t count him out.
4. His energy on the field is contagious.
5. Burleson is one of the offense’s biggest leaders even though he doesn’t wear a captain’s ‘C’. He’s been on the sidelines and around the locker room since the incident which is crucial. But true leaders have to be on the field. He knows that, he’s itching to go.