Rest and good home cooking.
Those two factors, not the suggestion by a reporter of having super-human healing powers, were the reasons Golden Tate was a somewhat surprise participant in practice Wednesday.
Tate left the Saints game with a shoulder injury, and was spotted as recently as this past weekend over the bye week in a sling. But there he was Wednesday, taking part in the open portion of practice – albeit in limited fashion – and even catching passes.
"I feel okay," Tate said Thursday. "Just taking it day by day, trying to get better and trying to get back on the field as fast as possible. Just trying to trust in the process and do whatever I can to get back on the field."
Tate, who leads the Lions in both receptions (36) and receiving yards (363), said he's never dealt with a shoulder injury before, so this is all pretty new to him.
"I'm just trying to test myself and see where I am and see what adjustments need to be made," he said.
Tate said he doesn't have any expectations either way for playing Sunday night vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers and their top-rated pass defense. He just has to see how the rest of the week goes.
"Obviously, I would love to be out there, but it's going to be the trainers and coach Caldwell's decision at the end of the day," Tate said. "I'm just trying to get this shoulder where it needs to be.
"I don't know what to expect. I've never had a shoulder injury like this, so I kind of don't know. I'm just kind of doing the treatment like they want me to do. Doing the best job I can and just trying to get back soon."
It was a tackle Glover Quin has made hundreds of times in his career with no ill effects. But Oct. 15 in New Orleans when Saints running back Alvin Kamara took a pitch from quarterback Drew Brees, and Quin lowered his shoulder attempting to make the tackle, Lions defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson, also looking to make the play, flew in and drilled Quin right in the helmet with his knee.
"It was scary to be honest with you," Quin said of laying motionless on the field for a time right after suffering a concussion. "I've played football for a long time and I've never had a play like that one.
"It was just an unfortunate situation because I've had many plays like that, just never had that result. It happens. It's just part of the game. It's the risk that we take every time we go out there to play. I've just been fortunate for so many years."
Detroit's bye week certainly came at a good time for Quin, who has since passed through the league's concussion protocol and has been a full participant in practice this week. Had the Lions played a game last week, Quin's 122 consecutive game streak might have come to an end.
"I was in the concussion protocol," he said. "You go through all the process and all the steps and hopefully you pass all the tests."
The Lions are certainly thankful to have their defensive leader back with the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and an explosive Pittsburgh Steelers offense next up on the schedule.
MEET BRIAN MIHALIK
Brian Milhalik could be Detroit's left tackle Sunday night vs. Pittsburgh.
The 6-foot-9, 315-pound former defensive lineman was signed by Detroit off waivers from Pittsburgh before the season began, and has played in all six games, mostly on special teams.
He filled in briefly at right tackle, and then got more extended reps at left tackle because of injuries against the Saints. He allowed one sack, one quarterback hit and three hurries in 24 pass-blocking reps.
"You know, got a lot of respect for Brian," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said of his former player in a conference call this week.
"He was a hard-working guy for us. He transitioned from the defensive line, I don't know how widely known that is. That guy was a defensive lineman at Boston College. He really bought into the techniques and worked extremely hard, and what's going on with him is no accident. He deserves that opportunity and I'm sure he's excited about it."
Mihalik's familiarity with some of his former teammates in Pittsburgh could be useful if he's tapped to make his first career start for the Lions against Pittsburgh Sunday night.
"I just go about my week and try to prepare as much I can no matter what the circumstances are," Mihalik said Wednesday. "It's a matter of getting down our techniques and getting our scheme and just feeling as comfortable as I can."
With Greg Robinson (ankle) not practicing Wednesday or Thursday, it seems unlikely he'll be ready to go Sunday night, which means Milhalik is the next man up.
"Been around the league a little bit. He's got some physical tools. He's got some physical talent," Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said of Mihalik.
"We've seen him move around a little bit, seen him play a little bit. Talented guy but we'll see what we've got. You find out on game day a little bit more than you do in these practices in-season a lot of times."