Lions receiver Nate Burleson sprinted onto the practice field Wednesday and went through both warm-ups and position drills. He had the cast removed from his surgically-repaired left forearm on Tuesday.

While the rest of the receivers were catching footballs in position drills Burleson was catching a tennis ball in his healthy right hand.

"It was a little unexpected; I am not due back on the field yet" he said. "I can run the tennis balls help with hand-eye coordination. But on top of that I wanted to be out there for the guys. I want to be able to lead and talk to them even if it's just a little bit of encouragement seeing me out there running around."

Burleson's goal is to be back after the team's bye week (Nov. 3) but he's been active in meetings and trying to do as much as he can on the field.