Lions QB Jared Goff is dealing with an oblique injury, so as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports, Tim Boyle will be Detroit’s starting signal-caller in the club’s matchup against the Browns this afternoon. It will be the first start of the 27-year-old’s career.
Boyle served as Aaron Rodgers‘ backup in Green Bay over the past several seasons, and though he had attempted just four career passes, the Lions inked him to a one-year, $2.5MM deal in March after he was non-tendered by the Packers (who were making room for Jordan Love). Unfortunately, Boyle’s strong training camp was marred by a thumb injury, and he was forced to start the 2021 campaign on IR as a result. He was designated to return earlier this month.
In the meantime, David Blough has been operating as Goff’s clipboard holder, and he will stay in his QB2 role today. Schefter says that if Boyle should struggle — he only recently returned to practice, so he is not as sharp as he could be — then Blough could be sent into the game. Because the Lions also play their traditional Thanksgiving contest in just a few days, either Boyle or Blough will likely be in line to start on Turkey Day as well.
It has been another difficult year for the Lions, who managed a tie with the Mason Rudolph-led Steelers last week to improve to 0-8-1. Detroit hoped that Goff, acquired in this offseason’s blockbuster Matthew Stafford trade, would be able to recapture the Pro Bowl form he displayed in the 2017-18 seasons, but he has largely struggled. Though O-line issues and a dearth of receiver talent are at least partially to blame, Goff’s 84.0 QB rating would represent his lowest mark since his seven-game rookie output. As such, Schefter confirms that the Lions’ quarterback situation for the rest of this season and beyond is unsettled.
The team has no realistic way of getting out of Goff’s contract until after the 2022 season, so he will almost certainly be back next year. But it does not sound like he is guaranteed to get his starting job back even when he is fully recovered, and the Lions will likely be in a position to draft one of 2022’s top collegiate passers in the spring. Starting today, Boyle will try to make his case to be involved in the conversation.
Of course, Boyle will have head coach Dan Campbell calling his offensive plays. Campbell took over play-calling duties from OC Anthony Lynn for the Pittsburgh game, and that arrangement will presumably hold through the end of the year. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Campbell — who still has the full respect of his locker room — is not planning to make any in-season coaching changes, but there will probably be some sort of shakeup to the staff in the offseason.
Blough was an undrafted rookie from Purdue last year who ended up starting five games after injuries to Matthew Stafford and Jeff Driskel. The offseason addition of Chase Daniel made Blough expendable, but he’ll serve as the third quarterback.
Wiggins has been in the league since 2012, and he has extensive starting experience. He’s started 13 games for Detroit over the past two years, and will probably be the first guy getting called up if there are offensive line injuries. Williams carried the ball 49 times for Indy last year, but he’ll have a tough time getting any snaps now that the Lions have also added Adrian Peterson.
Blough will be the third different player to start under center for the Lions. Driskel stepped in for franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford when he went down with an injury of his own. The Lions do not have another quarterback on their roster, which means tight end (and collegiate quarterback) Logan Thomas will serve as the team’s emergency backup.
An undrafted free agent out of Purdue, Blough, originally signed with the Browns. However, as roster cuts approached, the Lions agreed to swap conditional draft picks in exchange for the rookie signalcaller. Unlike Driskel, Blough is not a mobile quarterback (he ran a 4.9 40-yard dash during the draft process), and will have to rely on his skills as a pocket passer to take down the Bears.
In his first career start, Blough will be going up against one of the better defenses in football (Bears) on one of the biggest stages of the year (Thanksgiving). The pressure and bright lights will be on and he will get a chance to make an impression.
August 30th, 2019 at 4:45pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Lions are stockpiling quarterbacks. Detroit is trading for David Blough, acquiring him from the Browns, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
In perhaps the most minor trade on a day full of minor trades, the two teams will swap seventh-round picks in 2022, Schefter notes. Blough is an undrafted rookie from Purdue who had been operating as Cleveland’s fourth-string quarterback in camp. The Lions are in the process of trimming their roster so this will likely change shortly, but as of right now they have five passers on their roster.
Behind starter Matthew Stafford, they currently have Tom Savage, Josh Johnson, and former AAF signal-caller Luis Perez. Perez was just signed a couple of days ago. Savage started the offseason as Stafford’s backup, and the team signed the legendary journeyman Johnson after Savage sustained a concussion in the preseason. Blough was a starter for most of the past four years at Purdue, earning a third-team All-Big Ten selection last year.
The Browns are the latest team to formally announce their undrafted free agent class. Overall, Cleveland inked 15 additional rookies to supplement their draft class, which did not include a first round pick.
Many analysts thought that Ray would get drafted, so he might have one of the best chances of making the team. He was productive for Boston College last season in his first year as a starter, notching 11.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks. Gillian is another interesting player in this class. Nicknamed the ‘Scottish Hammer’, he’s extremely versatile and handled both punting and kicking duties in college.
The Browns did just draft kicker Austin Seibert in the fifth round and most people project Gillian as more of a punter in the pro game. He should have the chance to battle it out with Britton Colquitt in camp. Baker didn’t see too much action because of Kentucky’s run-first offense, but he’s a big receiver who’s very strong, and he could be a decent flyer.