In his return to Los Angeles this week, Lions quarterback Jared Goff said he isn't going to let his emotions get in the way of the much bigger task at hand, which is finding a way to get Detroit's first win of the season.
"Of course you're motivated," Goff said Wednesday. "Of course you have the chip on your shoulder. I've spoken about that. There was some disrespect felt toward the end. There was some sourness towards the end, and you still feel that and have that chip on your shoulder.
"But at the same time, when the game starts, if I let any of that come into how I'm going to play the game, it would be selfish. I'm going to play the game how I would any other game. I'm not worried about feeling some type of way once the game starts. I really don't."
Goff was traded to Detroit this offseason along with two first-round draft picks and a third-rounder in exchange for Matthew Stafford. Goff was caught off guard by the trade, and thought the communication between himself and Rams head coach Sean McVay could have been better surrounding the trade.
McVay admitted as much this week.
"Yes, I wish there was better, clearer communication," McVay told ESPN Monday. "To say that it was perfectly handled on my end, I wouldn't be totally accurate in that. I'll never claim to be perfect, but I will try to learn from some things that I can do better, and I think that was one of them without a doubt."
Goff appreciated that comment from McVay.
"It takes a man to say something like that. I appreciate it," Goff said. "It still happened the way it did, but I do appreciate him saying that and I've got all the respect in the world for them over there."
While Stafford and the Rams are off to a terrific 5-1 start, Goff and the Lions are off to an 0-6 start and struggling to score points. Goff said with his team needing a win so badly, it would be selfish to let emotions figure into an already difficult task of trying to beat one of the NFC's top teams.
As well as Stafford and the Rams' offense has played, the Los Angeles defense led by defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey is pretty good too. The Rams are ranked ninth in points allowed this season (21.2), while Detroit is averaging just 18.2 points per game, which ranks 28th.
"I never truly understood how to game plan against Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey until you have to," Goff said. "They've got some good players over there and they do some good things. I know as well as anyone they're well coached and do a great job. It'll be a challenge."
Lions head coach Dan Campbell said Wednesday there's a chance veteran left tackle Taylor Decker could miss the rest of the season with the finger injury that landed him on IR back in September.
"There's a chance," Campbell said. "I mean, really we've only got another two-week window here on it since we started his clock so we're going to have to figure something out within the next couple weeks on it, one way or another whether he's on the roster, activated, ready to go or if not, we have to put him down for the rest of the season. It'll come. I really, I don't know where this is going to go short-term. I don't. I really don't right now. I mean, we'll just have to see how he feels."
The Lions have until Nov. 3 to add Decker to the active roster, or he has to stay on IR the rest of the year and his season is over. Decker hasn't played in Detroit's first six games because of the injury.
Decker practiced in limited fashion last Wednesday and Thursday, but didn't practice Friday. He was working off to the side of practice to begin the on-field prep this week on Wednesday.
Campbell said whatever happens with Decker, he's confident in the abilities of Penei Sewell and Matt Nelson at left and right tackle.
BACK IN PADS
Sunday's loss to the Bengals was Detroit's worst performance of the season, and it came on the heels of a week where Campbell changed up the practice schedule and didn't have the team practice in pads Wednesday.
As expected, the Lions were back in pads today (Wednesday) as they began on-field preparations for Sunday's game in Los Angeles against the Rams.
"I think it sets a tone," Campbell said. "I can't ignore the fact that we come out and it wasn't certainly our best performance, and it was also the one week we didn't go pads on a day when you can go. So, I felt like we needed to get back to it.
"It won't be – it will be very similar to what we've done the last two weeks as far as time on the field and intensity and when we hit. I think it's something we can handle. I think we needed it, especially with these guys (Rams) coming up."
- The Lions had an open roster spot to begin the week and filled it by promoting wide receiver Geronimo Allison from the practice squad to the 53-man roster