Thumbs down: Detroit Lions backup QB Tim Boyle out indefinitely after thumb surgery

Detroit Free Press

Backup quarterback Tim Boyle will miss an indefinite period of time after breaking his right throwing thumb in the Detroit Lions‘ preseason finale last week against the Indianapolis Colts.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said Boyle was scheduled to undergo surgery Monday and the team would have a better idea on a timetable for his return post-operation.

“He may be out for a little while, but we don’t know how long that’s going to be,” Campbell said. “It’s one of those wild windows that covers every aspect. It’s like one of those, ‘Hey, it’s two weeks to fricking a year,’ like what the hell?”

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Campbell said the organization is optimistic Boyle will be able to play at some point this season.

“I think we’re a lot more hopeful than that, but I can’t rule that out right now,” Campbell said.

The Lions signed Boyle to a one-year contract this offseason to be their backup quarterback to Jared Goff.

He had an up-and-down preseason, completing 22 of 39 passes (56.4%) for 135 yards, but finished on a strong note, leading a touchdown drive against the Colts after injuring his thumb when he was sacked on the game’s fourth play.

On his second series against the Colts, Boyle completed 6 of 7 passes for 41 yards and was 4 for 4 on third downs. He capped the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Quintez Cephus.

“Look, he’s tough as nails, man,” Campbell said. “He’s everything that we’re about. I respect the hell out of him. He’ll get this fixed, he’ll come back ready to go whenever that is.”

David Blough should slot into the No. 2 quarterback role for the start of the regular season. Blough was 30 of 44 passing (68.2%) for 336 yards with one touchdown and one interception this preseason.

The Lions must keep Boyle on their roster through Tuesday’s 4 p.m. cut to 53 players in order for him to return this fall. Once placed on injured reserve, he can return anytime after three weeks.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. 

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