Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson wasn't expected to be on a football field until July as he continued his rehab following surgery to fix a broken leg. He admits that he is not at full strength, but he was taking part in organized team activities earlier this week.
"It's as healed up as it's going to get," Burleson said of his repaired right leg, via The Detroit News. "The good thing about being out there is I am playing at a high level and I am not 100 percent. When it gets stronger and I get endurance back in it, I will be back to play with extreme confidence."
One Lion who is being held out of action is running back Mikel Leshoure . Head coach Jim Schwartz didn't specify what Leshoure's injury actually is.
"He's battling some stuff," Schwartz said. "He can do some individual stuff but he's not ready to do any team work."
It's May, and Leshoure is already banged up. Brilliant. He will be a complementary player behind Reggie Bush this year with most of his value coming from potential goal-line touches. I will be staying away from him.
It's impressive that the 31-year-old Burleson is months ahead of schedule in his recovery. He could be very important to a Lions offense that lacks a clear No. 2 WR right now. The team may look to Burleson to fill that role for most of the season, at least until Ryan Broyles returns from his ACL tear. That's a sweet gig for any wide receiver in a pass-happy offense, but Burleson should be drafted as a WR5.