It's to the point now where Nate Burleson just doesn't want to jinx anything.

"I am very excited to get out there, but I don't want to get too excited this early in the week," he said. "I just want to take it day by day."

Coach Jim Schwartz repeated Thursday that Burleson, who has been out with a broken forearm since Week 3, remains on "a good course" to play Sunday against Tampa Bay. Burleson has been practicing without limitation all week and he's been running with the first-team offense in the pre-practice skeleton drills.

"I just have to stay focused," Burleson said. "To me, this is the fourth game of the season. My goal is to pick up where I left off and help the team tremendously and take some of the pressure off Calvin (Johnson)."

Where he left off was in Week 3 against Washington, a day he caught six passes for 116 yards, his best as a Lion.

"Can I pick up from there? I don't think it's difficult at all," he said. "I've been thrown the ball quite a bit (in practice) and I don’t think I've dropped one – not trying to jinx myself. I have been working on my hand strength. That's all I could do when I broke my arm. But my hands are strong and I've been catching it well. That's the first sign.

"The legs are OK. I run fast, I am moving around and running routes. Catching the ball was the worry but I have no pain and my hands are strong."

Burleson will wear a light-weight Kevlar wrap to protect the forearm. He said with that in place, he doesn't even think about the injury.

"Aw, man, that’s going to be a big help," Johnson said of Burleson's likely return. "Just the chemistry he has with the offense; everybody is looking forward to it. He’s not going to miss a beat."

For the Lions to have Burleson back on the field, whether it’s the practice field or on Sunday, is like having an extra boost of energy.