Nate Burleson still eyes 1,000 yards

DETROIT -- Nate Burleson, his black hard cast protecting his broken left forearm, still has a goal for this season.

The Detroit Lions receiver plans to return this year and while he wouldn't give a timetable, he did make a bold statement.

"I anticipate being out there pretty darn soon," Burleson said at Ford Field Tuesday before he received the Ed Block Courage Award. "Put it like this. When I get back, I'm still going to try and go after that 1,000 yards.

"So that means I've got to have enough games to do it, which means I should be back soon."

Burleson broke both bones in his left forearm last Tuesday, when he crashed his GMC Yukon into the center median on Interstate 696 while reaching to protect a falling pizza box. Burleson said his hard cast is scheduled to be removed Thursday and will be replaced by a removable splint next week.

"I'm already running," Burleson said. "Have my full strength back. There are things that I've crossed off the list that weren't supposed to happen."

Burleson had 19 catches for 239 yards before his injury.