Detroit — In the days leading up the preseason opener, the Detroit Lions coaching staff had decided they weren’t going to play Jared Goff. Based on how well he’d been performing on the practice field during the first couple of weeks of training camp, they felt he didn’t need the snaps or to take on an unnecessary risk of injury.
That news went over poorly with the quarterback, especially since the rest of the starting offense was scheduled to play. So he marched into Campbell’s office and convinced his coach to let him suit up Friday night against the Atlanta Falcons.
“He had conviction about not wanting to do it and I’m all for conviction,” Campbell said.
That conviction and commitment also resonated with Goff’s teammates, particularly the offensive line.
“I think the one thing that fired me up, (center) Frank (Ragnow), couple of the other guys, I don’t think Jared was even supposed to play today,” offensive tackle Taylor Decker said.
“He heard we were playing, the starting (offensive) line and he went to Dan and said, ‘I’m in. I’m playing.’ I love that. You want your quarterback to go there. He was like, ‘If my guys are out there, I’m going to go out there and compete, we’re going to go right down the field and score.’ That’s what we did.”
Goff and the starting offense began the game with the ball and he orchestrated a 10-play, 79-yard touchdown drive that took a little more than five minutes. Goff was nearly perfect on the series, completing three of his four throws for 47 yards. His lone incompletion was on target to Jamaal Williams, but dropped by the veteran running back.
Even though the sample size was small, Goff said it was still a confidence-builder for both him and the offense.
“I don’t know if they had all their guys out there, but yeah, of course, any time you can do it against another team and do it swiftly like that it helps,” Goff said.
Goff also sounded as if he was battling a cold, although he downplayed his postgame hoarseness as a “little scratchy throat.” Clearly that wasn’t going to keep him sidelined anymore than Campbell could.
“Didn’t want those guys out there without me,” Goff said.
We’re offering a great rate on digital subscriptions. Click here.