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Jared Goff ‘highly unlikely’ to start vs. Falcons

Nearly a week ago, Jared Goff played his best game with the Detroit Lions. Now, a week later, he’ll miss his second game of the season.

On Friday morning, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said it’s “highly unlikely” that Goff will start on Sunday vs. the Atlanta Falcons. Earlier in the week, Goff tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequently, the Lions placed him on the covid list.

“He didn’t clear this morning so I would say it’s looking doubtful,” Campbell told reporters.

This paves the way for backup Tim Boyle to get his second start this season. Boyle received his first NFL career start during Week 11 as Jared Goff nursed a rib injury.

And it wasn’t the prettiest display. Boyle went 15-for-23 for 77 yards, and two interceptions. His performance was a key factor in the Lions’ 13-10 loss to the Browns. It was his first action since the preseason, as Boyle, himself, was previously out with a thumb injury, sidelining him for the first part of the season.

So in fairness to Boyle, he had a tough hill to climb. Immediately starting after being fresh off a thumb injury and minimal reps left him ice cold. His rhythm was off. However, that was in Week 11. The Lions are now entering a Week 16 matchup. With more time to get his mechanics back in order, Dan Campbell expects a different Boyle to surface on Sunday.

Detroit Lions Tim Boyle set to start in place of Jared Goff
Nov 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Tim Boyle (12) throws the ball during warmups before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

“I expect to get a guy who’s going to be able to function in our offense,” said Campbell. “He’ll be able to move the ball. He’ll be a general for us out there. He’s going to get us in the right play. He’ll make the right decision. That’s what I expect.”

“I feel very confident in that.”

Even though Campbell is confident in Boyle’s abilities, expect the Lions to be run-heavy vs. the Falcons. Similar to the Lions, the Falcons are one of the worst teams in the NFL at stopping the run. The Lions are middle of the pack of the league’s best rushing teams. And as of now, it appears they’ll have both Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift returning to the lineup. Williams was in covid protocol, and Swift dealt with a shoulder injury.

Despite that, both running backs returning is great news as Jared Goff is set to miss action.

Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.

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