Jared Goff doubtful to play vs. Seahawks; Detroit Lions preparing to start Tim Boyle at QB

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  • Detroit Lions
    Detroit Lions
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  • Jared Goff
    Jared Goff
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  • Tim Boyle
    Tim Boyle
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  • Dan Campbell
    American football player and coach

Jared Goff has jammed all the highs and lows of a season into the past few weeks.

Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell said Goff is doubtful to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks because of a left knee injury he suffered in the Lions' Week 15 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Goff played his best football of the season against the Cardinals, two weeks after leading the Lions on a game-winning touchdown drive against the Minnesota Vikings, but has missed two other games in what Campbell described as a "frustrating" two months.

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Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) gestures at the line of scrimmage with guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai (72) as Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (31) looks on in the second quarter at Empower Field at Mile High on Dec. 12, 2021.
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) gestures at the line of scrimmage with guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai (72) as Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (31) looks on in the second quarter at Empower Field at Mile High on Dec. 12, 2021.

Goff suffered an oblique injury in pregame warmups before the Lions' Week 10 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He played through the injury that game, but sat out a loss the following week to the Cleveland Browns.

Last week, Goff missed the Lions' loss to the Atlanta Falcons with COVID-19, though he would not have been able to play in the game because of his knee.

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"He’s frustrated," Campbell said. "He wants to go. But he also knows – he’ll know when he’s ready, we’ll know when he’s ready. But yeah, he was trending the right way and then when these things pop up, shoot, man, you want to get back out there. So he is frustrated."

Tim Boyle likely will make his third career start Sunday in Goff's place.

Boyle completed 15 of 23 passes for 77 yards with two interceptions in his first start in Cleveland. He showed major improvement against the Falcons last week, completing 24 of 34 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown, but threw a game-clinching interception in the final minute.

Campbell said Boyle "had a good week" of practice taking the No. 1 reps, though the Lions could be limited in their passing game Sunday. Starting receivers Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond are on the reserve-COVID list, as are right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Brock Wright, the Lions' top remaining tight end.

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Detroit Lions quarterback Tim Boyle (12) works in pocket against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Atlanta.
Detroit Lions quarterback Tim Boyle (12) works in pocket against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Atlanta.

Reynolds is on track to be activated Saturday, but weather could be an issue with rain and 40-degree temperatures in the forecast for Sunday - conditions similar to Boyle's first start in Cleveland.

"I think Tim’s ready to go, and I thought last week he responded," Campbell said. "As far as throwing the football, there was nothing that I felt like we were hindered, like, 'Ah, man, I don’t want to call that one.' So I’m going to call this normal. I think it’ll be more an issue of just the weather and then depending on who we have. And how we’re doing in those packages is how I’ll call it."

The Lions are planning to have running back D'Andre Swift back in the lineup Sunday after a four-game absence with a sprained shoulder.

Swift had a career-high 136 yards rushing in Boyle's first start against the Browns and led all NFL running backs in receptions at the time of his injury.

"You can tell that he’s comfortable and he’s got his confidence up like he’s ready," Campbell said. "We were still getting him back in the flow last week. 'Do we think he’ll be ready? What is his shoulder?' But this week you know it, you can see it, you can feel it. And he’s looked great all week. He looks fresh is what he looks like, which is awesome.

"Sometimes I think you forget until you’re where we’re at in Week 17 and when you see an athlete like Swift that’s fresh, it’s a sight for sore eyes. So he’s ready to go. I know he’s been, look, he’s been wanting to go for a long time, so he loves the game, he’s competitive. It’ll be good to get him back."

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

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions' Jared Goff doubtful; Tim Boyle likely starts