Coming off his best performance of the year Sunday against Arizona, Lions quarterback Jared Goff found himself on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Monday after feeling mild symptoms Sunday night into Monday morning following his three-touchdown performance in the win over the Cardinals.
"I'm feeling good," Goff said in his weekly interview with 97.1 WXYT on Tuesday. "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 hope is for Goff to either test negative or have a low enough viral load of the infection to be non-contagious and able play Sunday in Atlanta. He's been involved in meetings virtually, and has everything he needs in terms of access to film and the game plan to prepare for Sunday.
"We had the iPad out there as the plays are being called and run," head coach Dan Campbell said Wednesday. "So, it's like he's here as much as he can be without actually being in the building. So, he's preparing that way and then we'll see where it goes."
If Goff can't go Sunday, it's expected backup Tim Boyle will get his second career start, though Campbell did leave open the possibility for David Blough to also play.
Boyle got the start for Goff a month ago in Cleveland after Goff suffered a strained oblique the week prior in Pittsburgh. He was 15-of-23 passing for 77 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The Lions lost 13-10.
"Here is what kind of fires us up is Tim (Boyle)'s been in it now four weeks," Campbell said. "He's been practicing and he was kind of fresh right back from the injury, really a week off the injury (before his start in Cleveland).
"So, he's got his feet back under him. He's got his rhythm back to him. He's throwing it well. And now, he's got a game under his belt. So, I think this will be good and I don't feel like we're going to be hindered."
Boyle said Wednesday it's night and day how comfortable he feels now vs. his first start a month ago that came just a week after not throwing a football for 11 weeks because of a broken thumb suffered in the preseason and with only one week of practice under his belt.
NFC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Lions rookie kicker Riley Patterson has been named the NFC special teams player of the week for his performance against the Arizona Cardinals. He's the first Lions rookie to win the award since Jamal Agnew in 2017.
Patterson made all three of his field goal attempts (37, 47, 45) against the Cardinals last week, and all three of his extra point tries, accounting for 12 points as Detroit beat Arizona, 30-12, for their second win of the season.
"I'm glad I'm here and I'm playing, it's just been awesome, really," Patterson said Wednesday. "It's been a lot of fun. We're starting to win games now, too. I'm getting more comfortable the longer I'm here and the longer I'm kicking with (long snapper) Scott (Daly) and (holder) Jack (Fox). It's been pretty great. I love it here. I love this place, I love Detroit and it's just been a blessing since I've been here."
The undrafted rookie out of Memphis has been a pleasant surprise for the Lions since being signed off New England's practice squad a little over a month ago. He's a perfect 7-for-7 on field goals and 8-for-8 on extra points in four games with the Lions.
The Lions have rushed 346 times for 1,562 yards (4.5 avg.) and nine touchdowns this season.
Detroit has brought in an extra offensive lineman frequently, with plenty of success doing it. Detroit's used an extra offensive lineman 74 times this season, which is the fourth most in the NFL behind only New Orleans (136), Dallas (78) and New England (77).
"Just to have (Matt) Nelson in there some in the jumbo role has really helped at a minimum clean up the line of scrimmage and create some push and keep our backs to where they can go downhill, they're not having to backwards to go forward," Campbell said.
"So, I just think it brings an element and there is certainly a lot of things you can do off of it. You don't just run it. You can play action off of it. And there again, it helps because we've seen a ton of Nelson. He was our starting tackle for all of those weeks, and so he is very capable and you know he can do it and he's been going. And so, it's a pretty good fit is what it's been."
Former NFL player and current ESPN writer Matt Bowen does an annual Shutdown Index, which lists the best defensive backs in the NFL in a number of different categories. Lions third-year cornerback Amani Oruwariye made the list under the category 'Three under-the-radar defensive backs I really like.'
"There are some good reps here with Oruwariye on the tape," Bowen wrote. "He's sticky in coverage with on-the-ball production, including six picks and 10 pass breakups, including this diving pick in the Lions' upset over the Cardinals on Sunday."