Tim Boyle showed nothing to suggest he’s worthy, so Jared Goff will be back under center for the Lions once he’s healthy.
Jared Goff’s oblique injury pushed Tim Boyle into his first NFL start for the Detroit Lions Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, and it went about as expected in a 13-10 loss (15-for-23 for 77 yards with two interceptions). So much for a possible quarterback controversy, which was hardly odd to consider if Boyle had played well.
Goff is pretty likely to also miss the Lions’ Thanksgiving Day game against the Chicago Bears, so Boyle will start again unless a move to No. 3 quarterback David Blough is made.
According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Lions head coach Dan Campbell was very direct to say Goff will get the starting job back when he’s healthy.
“If he can go, he’s going,” Campbell said.
When will Jared Goff be healthy enough to play?
Under the assumption Goff misses Thanksgiving Day on a short week, his next chance to play will be Week 13, Sunday, Dec. 5, at home against the Minnesota Vikings. At that point he’ll be three weeks removed from when he suffered his injury.
The conspiracy theorists out there will surely say, “they’ll just say Goff isn’t healthy enough to play week-after-week so they can keep losing games and lock in the No. 1 overall pick in April.”
But as close as this team has been to winning a game, with mistakes at critical times as bad teams tend to do, getting a mark in the win column feels inevitable even if it isn’t going to be cosmetically pleasing. Who is playing quarterback hasn’t made a difference thus far, other than failing to have someone who can keep the offense rolling and maybe make a critical play, so it won’t make a big difference from here on out this season. The name on the back of jersey, and the level of reaction attached to everything they do (or don’t do), are the only differences between Goff and Boyle.
The bottom line is Goff was never going to lose his starting job to anything other than an injury that rendered him unable to play. So that he’ll get it back when he’s healthy is not a surprise.