ALLEN PARK — Practice looked more like practice on Wednesday with Nate Burleson back working with the Lions’ starters.
The Lions wide receiver appears to have a good chance to play on Sunday — his first game since he broke his forearm in two places in a freakish pizza-related accident on Sept. 24.
“I just feel good to be back out there, catching the ball and running routes, being a part of the game plan,’’ Burleson said. “I’ve still got to go see the doc (Thursday) and take some X-rays. This week is a little bit better than the last being more involved, it feels good to be out there running routes and catching balls from Mr. Stafford.’’
Burleson, 31, did look quick on the practice field.
Why wouldn’t he? He has only played in three games this season.
“I joked with these guys they said I looked a little faster,’’ Burleson said. “When you’re out for a while fresh legs is the joke. I’ll take these fresh legs, I’m going to take advantage of them — move around fast and make some plays on Sunday.’’
He said Sunday will seem like the fourth game of the season for him because it will be.
Burleson had a great start this season with three good games — 78, 45 and 116 yards. After three games, he was the Lions’ No. 2 wide receiver.
“I’m going to continue to build what I started,’’ Burleson said. “If I can do that, it means good things for this offense.’’
There is no doubt he will have an impact. He has been missed.
“We have had to compartmentalize our passing game. A lot of different guys sort of stepped up,’’ coach Jim Schwartz said. “Not one person replaced Nate’s production. We had a lot of different guys sort of rolling through it.
“It will be a big lift when we get him back. He’s on a good track. He’s done more every single time we have gone out to practice. He means an awful lot. We have talked a lot about how much he means to our team and the last time we saw him play in the game, he had the most receiving yards he’s ever had for us as a Lion. It might even have been a career high for him. He can still play at a high level and when we get him back, he’s going to give us those speeds,’’ the coach added.
Burleson, who is not quite as humble as Calvin Johnson, knows he can make a difference by being on the field.
“It just means a lot of comfort, it takes a little pressure off Calvin, he’s still Calvin, he’s still going to be Calvin and make amazing plays, I think being out there he can appreciate it a little bit and then Matt too,’’ Burleson said. “We built up a great rapport the last four years and I think the beginning of the season was a testament to that.’’