LIONS INSIDER

NOTEBOOK: Burleson talks return date; Megatron expects to play more and other notes

Posted Oct 17, 2013

Nate Burleson said he wants to get back from his broken forearm as soon as possible, but he doesn't want to rush back and risk further injury

Nate Burleson told reporters Thursday that his return to the practice field will coincide with the two broken bones in his left forearm building back their full strength.

"They usually expect that around eight weeks, but we’re already seeing it now," said Burleson, who's been out since breaking to bones in his left forearm Sept. 24. "We’re using a bone stimulator and Vitamin D pills and all kinds of stuff. We’re doing everything plus more to heal up the bone."

Burleson said there’s already evidence of the bone healing, but as much as he wants to get back on the field and help this team win, he doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize the second half of the season.

"Seeing the (Rob) Gronkowski situation from a bird’s-eye view, it really makes me hesitant," Burleson said of New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, who broke his forearm and then re-broke it after coming back.

"I’m going to be smart about it.

"(Lions general manager Martin) Mayhew said it best. He said, 'I know you want to be back, just like we want you back, but when you come back we want it to be a one-time thing. Not setback after setback.'

"I have to be smart because the second half of the season is when we need to play well and need to be healthy and I don’t plan on missing anymore games until I’m retired. This whole sitting out thing is really getting old."

The more time Burleson sits out, the less chance there is for him to reinjure the break.

When Burleson gets back, he’ll have a protective Kevlar brace from his wrist to his elbow to limit blows on the arm.

"It’s some Robocop stuff," he joked.

Burleson says he’s still eyeing a return date after the bye in Week 9 and wants to play in Chicago Week 10.

"What we’ll do is we’ll start with Nerf ball initially and that’s just so I can run routes and get the timing down," Burleson said. "I don’t anticipate me needing to catch a football until I get back on the practice field."

BIGGER IMPACT FOR MEGATRON

Calvin Johnson played just 38 snaps last week in Cleveland but was still able to affect the game.

"I’m used to being in there every play," Johnson said. "It’s a little different. It does disrupt the flow, not the flow of the game, but your flow."

That shouldn’t be as much of a problem this week as Johnson says his sore right knee is doing better and he expects to play more vs. Cincinnati.

Johnson practice both Wednesday and Thursday, something he hasn’t done since injuring the knee Sept. 29 against Chicago.

"That just shows progress that we’re having right now," Johnson said of practicing all week. "Like I said, it’s getting better every day."

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is expecting Johnson to be more available in his game plan this week.

"I would think so," he said. "It’s not an overnight thing to get back to 100 percent, but he’s working very hard to get there. There’s any reason he wouldn’t be able to have a few more (plays) this week, but it has everything to do with how the game goes."

GREENWOOD BACK

Former fifth-round pick Chris Greenwood was back at the Lions facility today and is expected to be added to the team’s practice squad either today or tomorrow.

Greenwood cleared waivers Wednesday, after being released by the Dallas Cowboys earlier this week.

The Cowboys snagged Greenwood off of the Lions’ practice squad last month, but the 6-foot-1, 196-pound cornerback was never active in any of the three games he was on Dallas' 53-man roster.

The Lions will have to make room for Greenwood on the squad when they officially announce the signing. It's believed that move will be running back Steven Miller.

"There is a balance there," head coach Jim Schwartz said, when asked about the practice squad makeup. "We don’t generally keep very many guys. We don’t keep them for very long term if we don’t feel like we could bring them up to the 53 at some point. Practice squad are guys that we could potentially call up on a Saturday if something happens where someone gets an injury or sick and you have to go to that practice squad."

EXTRA POINT

Running back Joique Bell and other Lions players will be at the Central United Methodist Church, Monday, Oct. 21, from 10:30 to 11:30, to help feed and offer other assistance to Detroit’s homeless.

"Please come & support this movement," Bell said via his official Twitter account Thursday. "Feeding & offering assistance to the homeless. We are one community."