Detroit Lions' Jared Goff feeling fine after testing positive for COVID-19: 'A mild cold'

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  • Detroit Lions
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Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff said he feels "fine" after testing positive for COVID-19, but is not sure if he can return to play in Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

“I’m feeling good," Goff said in his weekly interview with 97.1 WXYT-FM. "It’s pretty much a mild cold. I’m feeling fine. I had some symptoms pop up really Sunday night after the game, Monday morning. I said, 'You know what, I might as well make sure I’m good to go,' and sure enough I’m positive."

The Lions placed Goff and two others on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, bringing their COVID outbreak to 13 cases in 15 days.

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) runs a play against the Arizona Cardinals during first half action  on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, at Ford Field in Detroit.
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) runs a play against the Arizona Cardinals during first half action on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, at Ford Field in Detroit.

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The NFL changed its health and safety protocols last week to allow vaccinated players to make a quicker return to play.

Under the new guidelines, vaccinated players can clear protocols as soon as the day after they test positive for the virus so long as they are asymptomatic and their viral load is above a certain benchmark.

Previously, players were required to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days, though vaccinated players could return sooner if they produced two negative COVID tests at least 24 hours apart.

Goff, who is vaccinated, said he is not sure what his viral load is but will follow a course of "rest, sleep, hydration (and) medicine" in hopes of returning to the field this week.

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"I don’t even know exactly what it means, but I know the number is 35 that they’re looking for," he said. "If you’re 35 or above you are good to go. I’m not quite sure what my number is yet, but that is the number they’re looking at. There’s a million ways you can try to get your number there by certain medications or certain vitamins and stuff like that, that can expedite the process to get yourself there to test negative."

The Lions activated running back Jamaal Williams and cornerback Mark Gilbert off the reserve/COVID list Monday but still have seven players in COVID protocols: Goff, offensive tackle Matt Nelson, safety Jalen Elliott, injured receiver Quintez Cephus and practice squad defensive players Nickell Robey-Coleman, Corey Ballentine and Tavante Beckett.

Denver Broncos defensive end Dre'Mont Jones (93) tackles Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Denver.
Denver Broncos defensive end Dre'Mont Jones (93) tackles Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Denver.

Center Evan Brown, safety Tracy Walker and cornerbacks Ifeatu Melifonwu and Bobby Price came off reserve/COVID last week.

Goff, who missed one day of practice with the flu when the Lions' COVID outbreak first began the week of Dec. 6, compared that situation to the one he is in now.

"I feel fine," he said. "It’s mild cold symptoms. I feel totally fine. And it is interesting, though, I had the flu a couple weeks ago and they didn’t have a problem with me playing but you’re not allowed to play with this."

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“I tested flu positive and I was in the building the next day and there was no issue."

Goff, in the midst of an up-and-down year with the Lions, played his best football of the season against the Cardinals. He completed 21 of 26 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns, and the Lions (2-11-1) won for the second time in three weeks.

"I don’t know the chances (of playing this week)," Goff said. "I think I have a chance of testing negative as well as I have a chance of testing positive every day. I really don't know, so I’ll test every day and we’ll find out and if I happen to test negative in the next couple days, then yeah, sure there’s a chance."

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions' Jared Goff feeling 'fine' after positive COVID-19 test