Nate Burleson expected to play

Updated: November 22, 2013, 4:50 PM ET
By Michael Rothstein | ESPN.com

Wide receiver Nate Burleson is getting set to return for the Detroit Lions.

Burleson, who has not played since crashing his car Sept. 24 on Interstate 696 in Michigan while reaching to save a falling pizza box, was listed as probable on the team's injury report Friday.

Burleson practiced all three days this week and practiced in full pads Thursday and Friday.

"Things are looking up for Nate Burleson," Burleson said Thursday. "Catching some balls. Getting some high-fives. My friends are talking to me again. Finally feel like things are looking up, man.

"That pizza set me back, man."

Prior to the crash, Burleson had 19 catches for 239 yards in three games. With his return, he'll likely see most of his snaps in the slot, meaning fewer potential snaps for receiver Jeremy Ross in three-receiver sets and Kris Durham in two-receiver sets.

Burleson has practiced for three weeks in anticipation of his return. He went from definitively out against the Chicago Bears to doubtful against the Pittsburgh Steelers to probable for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This week, for the first time, he took part in the team portion of drills open to the media, usually a sign he will be part of the game plan this week.

Burleson's return isn't the only one for Detroit. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who has missed the past two games with an ankle injury, was also listed as probable for the Lions, as was nickelback Bill Bentley.

Starting safety Glover Quin and running back Joique Bell, both of whom practiced Friday, are listed as questionable.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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