Having missed the Week 11 game with an oblique injury, is Detroit Lions QB Jared Goff set to be playing today when they face the Chicago Bears in their traditional Thanksgiving game? What is the latest update regarding Goff’s injury, and will he play today against the Bears?
Update: Jared Goff is active for the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving day game against the Chicago Bears in Week 12.
Is Jared Goff playing today?
Goff will be a game-time decision for the Lions as they take to the field on Thanksgiving. The Lions have not actually practiced this week, so their practice reports have all been estimations of availability. That makes it tough to work out where Goff is in his potential return.
With the Lions having only done walkthroughs this week, Goff has not had to endure the rigors of practice. That means the Lions have not seen how their QB has felt the following day in terms of any setbacks or pain. Goff was officially listed as questionable on the Lions’ injury report heading into Thursday. We will find out his availability when inactives are announced at 11 AM ET.
Tim Boyle could start consecutive games for the Lions
If Goff cannot play on Thursday, the Lions would ask Tim Boyle to start just the second game of his NFL career. His first start did not go particularly well. While the Lions only lost 13-10 to the Cleveland Browns, Boyle was graded as the least valuable QB in Week 11 according to Pro Football Network’s Offensive Value Metric.
While OVM uses advanced metrics to grade a player based on elements within their control, it does not require advanced metrics to see that Boyle struggled. The positive is that he completed 15 of his 23 passes (65.22%) — but that is where the good news ends. Boyle threw 2 interceptions while averaging just 3.35 yards per attempt.
Goff has also failed to impress as a starter in 2021
Those numbers from Boyle are not pretty, but Goff has hardly been performing much better this season. Among qualified QBs, only Sam Darnold has a lower OVM grade than Goff. In 2021, Goff has completed 66.1% of his passes for 2,109 yards at an average of 6.3 yards per attempt. That is the lowest yards per attempt number of Goff’s career since his rookie season.
When we look at Next Gen Stats, we can see just why Goff’s numbers are so mediocre. He is performing “fine,” but “fine” is not what the Lions need this season. Interestingly, Goff’s completion percentage this season is exactly equal to the NFL’s expected completion rate that is calculated based on analytics surrounding the throws he has made.
The problem is that Goff has not been making things happen. He is among the least aggressive quarterbacks in the league and consistently has thrown passes short of the sticks this season. Goff has thrown just 8 touchdowns at a rate of 2.4% this season, with 6 interceptions.
The problem is that in an offense lacking playmakers at the wide receiver position, the Lions really need Goff to elevate the talent around him. So far, he has not done that this season. Given the size of his contract and his status as a former No. 1 overall selection, his performance has been largely viewed as disappointing.