- ESPN NFL Insider
- Joined ESPN in 2009
- Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four books
Detroit Lions quarterback Tim Boyle will make his first NFL start Sunday in Cleveland against the Browns as Jared Goff continues to recover from an oblique injury, league sources tell ESPN.
It is considered unlikely that Goff will be recovered in enough time for Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day game against the Chicago Bears, leaving Boyle with the opportunity to make another start for the Lions.
The Lions haven’t addressed what would happen if Boyle were to play well, but there is a belief around the league that Detroit’s quarterback situation for this season and beyond is very much in flux.
Detroit gave Boyle a one-year, $2.5 million contract that included a $1 million signing bonus, with the idea of potentially auditioning him for a starting job.
Boyle impressed during training camp but broke his thumb and missed the next eight weeks. He only recently returned to practice and still is not as sharp as he could be, but the Lions are impressed with his smarts and his attitude.
Asked this past week about Boyle, Lions head coach Dan Campbell responded: “Let me say this about Tim Boyle — he lacks zero confidence, I can tell you that.”
Boyle, when asked how he would approach Sunday’s game, said: “I’ll meditate, I’ll breathe, talk to my family, I’ll study and go to bed, easy. It’s football. I’ve been playing football since I was 6.”
But the Lions’ quarterback options also go beyond Boyle. If he struggles at all Sunday, the Lions could turn to David Blough, who will serve as the No. 2 quarterback, is popular among his teammates and is well-liked within the organization.
The Lions are slated to have two first-round draft picks next year, so they also will potentially have an opportunity to address the quarterback position at that time. But with Goff sidelined, Boyle now will have a chance to further impress the Lions and hold on to the starting job.
Boyle, 27, spent the past three seasons with the Green Bay Packers. He appeared in eight games last season but did not attempt a pass.
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