Tim Boyle

Lions Re-Sign TE Darren Fells, Place QB Tim Boyle On IR

As expected, the Lions will begin their season without backup quarterback Tim Boyle. A thumb injury will sideline him into October, with the team placing the former Packers reserve on IR Thursday.

The team also stashed defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand on IR. Players placed on IR after roster cutdown day are eligible to return after three games. This is Hand’s fourth IR stay in four seasons.

Detroit also brought back one of its offseason additions, re-signing tight end Darren Fells a day after releasing him. Fells made it through to the Lions’ 53-man roster after cut day but was dropped on Wednesday. The former college hoops standout-turned-red zone target signed with the Lions in May.

Fells joins T.J. Hockenson as the only tight ends on Detroit’s active roster. This will be Fells’ age-35 season and second with Detroit. He was on the 2017 Lions before relocating to Cleveland and then Houston. With the Texans, Fells caught 11 touchdown passes over the past two years.

Boyle’s injury leaves David Blough as the only QB behind Jared Goff on the Lions’ active roster. This marks Blough’s third year with the team.

Additionally, the Lions also re-signed safety Dean Marlowe on Thursday. A Bills contributor from 2018-20, Marlowe joined Fells in being dropped from the roster for procedural purposes Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions QB Tim Boyle To Miss Time

The Lions’ quarterback group will take a hit ahead of the regular season’s outset. Recently acquired backup Tim Boyle is set to miss time due to thumb surgery, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

Stationed as Jared Goff‘s backup, Boyle is set to be out nearly two months. In order for Boyle to practice this season and back up Goff upon recovering, the Lions will need to carry him onto their 53-man roster.

Detroit signed Boyle earlier this year. He spent the past two seasons as Aaron Rodgers‘ backup in Green Bay, but Jordan Love moved up a spot on the Pack’s depth chart this offseason. The Packers non-tendered Boyle as a restricted free agent as a result.

Third-year passer David Blough is the only other quarterback on Detroit’s roster, so the rebuilding team may make a move here. However, Goff has proven largely durable during his five-year career. Goff did not miss a start due to injury until late last season, when a thumb surgery sidelined him.

Lions To Sign QB Tim Boyle

Tim Boyle is sticking around the NFC North. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the veteran quarterback is signing with the Lions. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that it’s a one-year deal worth $2.5MM, including $1.5MM guaranteed.

Boyle joined the Packers as an undrafted free agent back in 2018, and he became a bit of a cult hero as Aaron Rodgers‘ backup over the past few years. The 26-year-old has seen time in 11 career games, mostly as a human victory cigar; he has 18 “carries” for -16 yards. He’s attempted four passes in his brief career, connecting on three of them for 15 yards.

The 26-year-old was set to hit restricted free agency this offseason, but the Packers decided to not tender the fan favorite. The Packers will move forward with 2020 first-rounder Jordan Love as the definitive backup quarterback.

The Lions were presumably looking for some reinforcement at the position after letting go of Chase Daniel earlier this week. Boyle will likely compete with David Blough for backup reps behind Jared Goff.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Will Not Tender QB Tim Boyle

The Packers’ quarterback depth chart may change soon. Green Bay is not planning to tender restricted free agent Tim Boyle, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (video link).

Boyle has served as Aaron Rodgers‘ backup, a role he held over Jordan Love throughout the 2020 season. Love, however, could be set to move up. It would cost Green Bay $2.2MM to tender Boyle at the original-round level. He will now become an unrestricted free agent.

While the Packers could opt to retain Boyle at a lower cost, it would make sense for Love to move up and begin to dress for games in his second season. Almost every quarterback chosen in Round 1 since Rodgers has started games as a rookie; Love was not even active for any Packers contests. He is expected to be Green Bay’s QB2 next season, Garafolo adds.

A UDFA out of Eastern Kentucky, Boyle has not started a game for the Packers. He has worked in mop-up duty frequently, playing in 11 contests over the past two seasons. The Packers allowed Brett Hundley to defect to the Cardinals in free agency in 2019, leaving Boyle behind Rodgers. Despite the team trading up for Love last year, Boyle remained the team’s top backup.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC North Notes: Blount, Lions, Rudock

When LeGarette Blount starts the 2018 season with the Lions, it will be his third team in as many years. Blount has won the past two Super Bowls, first with the Patriots then with the Eagles. Blount rushed 766 yards and two touchdowns last season in Philadelphia, but wasn’t offered a contract by the team after the season.

When asked if he carried a grudge due to the snub, Blount replied “I’m past that”, according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. Blount emphasized that he’s looking forward to playing for the Lions and coach Matt Patricia, saying “fortunately, it worked out for me to wind up here with somebody that I’m familiar with, and like a lot.” Although the move means Blount is unlikely to win a third straight Super Bowl, it doesn’t sound like he’s losing too much sleep over the divorce.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

 

Packers Sign 14 UDFAs

The Packers have officially signed 14 undrafted free agents in advance of their rookie minicamp. Here’s the full rundown:

Boyle began his collegiate career at UConn and started for the Huskies as a true freshman. Then, thanks to injuries and coaching changes, Boyle wound up on the bench for his sophomore and junior seasons. For his final NCAA year, he transferred to Eastern Kentucky and put himself on the NFL radar.

It’s truly a dream come true,” Boyle said of signing with the Packers (via the team website). “I’ve been thinking about this moment pretty much the whole time I’ve been playing football. It’s been a long journey. A lot of ups and downs, but I’m finally here and it’s up to me now to make the most out of my opportunity.”

The Packers have Brett Hundley and DeShone Kizer behind Aaron Rodgers on the depth chart, but they did not select a QB in the draft, so Boyle may have a chance at sticking on the roster if he impresses this offseason. Hundley went 3-6 as a starter last year in Rodgers’ absence last year and coach Mike McCarthy was critical of his performance – as well as the staff’s job in preparing Hundley – when asked about the backup in February.

Brett Hundley wasn’t ready for what he needed to be ready for,” the coach said (via ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky). “That’s something that we have to learn from, and that stings.”