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NOTEBOOK: Campbell says it's 'highly unlikely' Goff plays Sunday

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell gave updates on the status of quarterback Jared Goff and cornerback Amani Oruwariye Friday morning.

It seems highly unlikely the Lions will have the services of Goff this weekend in Atlanta.

"He didn't clear this morning, so I would say it's looking doubtful," Campbell said.

Goff is coming off arguably his best performance of the season, throwing three touchdowns and no picks in Detroit's 30-12 victory over the Cardinals. Goff started to feel mild symptoms Sunday night and tested positive for COVID-19 Monday. He's been on the Reserve/COVID-19 list ever since.

The Lions are likely to turn to Tim Boyle to start his second game of the season in place of Goff.

Oruwariye has missed practice all week with a thumb injury, and Campbell said his availability for Sunday is up in the air, but it seems likely Detroit's top cornerback won't be available this weekend either.

"We're getting him looked at," Campbell said of Oruwariye. "It happened on the last drive of the game. He didn't even know when it happened. So, we're getting it checked out and we'll see where he's at. So, he's kind of up in the air right now."

Campbell said both the ligament and bone are affected in the thumb.

"I would say it's probably not looking great, but we're still hopeful," Campbell said.

Surgery could be on the table for Oruwariye, depending what the medical experts say, Campbell said.

The Lions could turn to rookie Ifeatu Melifonwu to potentially fill in for Oruwariye against the Falcons.

"I feel like (Melifonwu) is moving pretty good ... and if he gets an opportunity he'll make the most of it," Campbell said.


Running back D’Andre Swift returned to practice in limited fashion this week after missing the last three games with a shoulder sprain. Campbell said Swift looked pretty good on Wednesday and even better on Thursday. Now it's about him getting some contact to his shoulder and seeing how it responds.

"Today, we'll kind of just assess and determine (if he can play Sunday)," Campbell said. "I just know he's improving, that's what I would say."

Swift has been one of Detroit's most dynamic playmakers all season, and getting him back in the fold would be a big boost for Detroit's offense, especially if they're playing without Goff.

Swift is one of only four players in the NFL with 100 rushes and 55 receptions, which speaks to his impact in all aspects of the offense in 11 games played this season.

View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021.


Interior defenders around the league have certainly taken notice of Lions guard Jonah Jackson, which is why Jackson became a second alternate to the Pro Bowl, announced Wednesday.

"It's definitely a big honor," Jackson said Thursday. "It means a lot that people are taking notice of the style I play. It's definitely a stepping stone of where I want to be, and I appreciate it, big time."

Jackson said his goal is to be a consistent Pro Bowler, All-Pro and the best at his position. For now, being selected as an alternate and getting a potential Pro Bowl bid in just his second season is a pretty nice trajectory.

Jackson plays a physical brand of football, and he's one of the big reasons why the Lions have been so successful and so consistent really all year long running the football. Detroit's averaging better than 111 rushing yards per game, and Detroit running backs have combined for 320 rushes, 1,402 yards (4.4 average) and nine touchdowns this season. Of the backs' 1,402 rushing yards, 493 have come before contact (35.2 percent). This ranks as the sixth most rushing yards before contact this season, proving the offensive line's success at the line of scrimmage.

"He just stays under the radar, you know?" Lions offensive line coach Hank Fraley said of Jackson on Friday. "He's not flashy. He just does his job and goes about his work. It says a lot to your peers and other coaches that becoming an alternate is definitely a good individual award.

"He's a grinder. He doesn't take any crap out there. He's feisty in his own right. He's been good for the room.

"Those are awards that other players deem you to be pretty good, and I think he's still up and coming."

Jackson is one of the young, talented Detroit offensive linemen (add rookie Penei Sewell to the list) that Detroit feels really good about, and who looks to be trending towards being one of the better players at his position for a long time.

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