The Chicago Bears will not have their starting quarterback on Thanksgiving, the team announced Tuesday, but the Detroit Lions could have theirs.
Lions coach Dan Campbell said Tuesday that Jared Goff is recovering well from the strained oblique that kept him out of last week’s loss to the Cleveland Browns and likely will play on Thanksgiving.
“I thought he was better today,” Campbell said. “I mean, I think it’s leaning that way, to Goff. We’ll see.”
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Goff injured his side early in a Week 10 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers and sat out last week’s game in Cleveland, when Tim Boyle made his first career start.
Goff went through an extensive throwing workout Monday and tested the injury again Tuesday before the team’s walkthrough.
He said he feels “really good” and would categorize his status for Thursday “as a game-day decision.”
“I’d describe it as any other strained muscle,” Goff said. “It gets better over time and there can be setbacks if you push it too far, if you push it too quickly, so it’s that delicate little dance that we’re managing.”
Goff has missed just two games with injury in his six-year NFL career, one while with the Los Angeles Rams at the end of last season because of a broken throwing thumb, and one last week.
“He’s tough,” Campbell said. “And that’s, honestly that’s part of my concern is because I know how tough he is and he tells you he’s being truthful, but I know how bad he wants to play, and he’s been through a lot, played through a lot, and I appreciate that about him. But I do want to make sure he’s definitely ready to go. And I do think it’s trending that way.”
The Lions, 0-9-1 and the only winless team in the NFL, have thrown one touchdown pass in their past six games. Boyle completed 15 of 23 passes for 77 yards with two interceptions against the Browns, while Goff ranks last in the NFL in air yards per completion and attempt.
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Asked to put a percentage on Goff’s chance to start Thursday, Campbell said, “I would say there’s a 60% chance of it being 50-50.”
Bears coach Matt Nagy told reporters Tuesday that Andy Dalton will start at quarterback against the Lions with rookie Justin Fields battling a rib injury.
The Bears went 1-1 with Dalton as starter in September, but Fields replaced an injured Dalton in a Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals and started the past eight games. He threw for 209 yards in a 24-14 win over the Lions in Week 4.
Campbell said Chicago’s offense does not change much with Dalton at quarterback.
“They’re still going to lean on the run game,” he said. “They had success against us last time and that’s kind of been their M.O. This is a pretty dang good back (David Montgomery). They got some heavy sets, so they’re going to lean on that but I think that the difference is, I think Dalton, man, an experienced guy. He’s seen a lot, done a lot, he knows the offense. So to have a veteran presence, somebody who’s done it, I think, probably gives them a little bit of comfort, I would think. ‘Cause he’s ready to go. He doesn’t need a lot.”
The Lions placed Da’Shawn Hand (groin) on injured reserve Tuesday for the second time this season. Hand, who will be a free agent in March, has played 16 games total the past three seasons. The Lions signed guard Tommy Kraemer to the active roster to take Hand’s place.
Trey Flowers (knee), Trinity Benson (knee), Halapoulivaati Vaitai (concussion), Matt Nelson (ankle) and A.J. Parker (ankle) were listed as non-participants on the Lions’ estimated practice report Tuesday. Goff, Michael Brockers (knee) and Jermar Jefferson (knee/ankle) were limited participants.