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Detroit Lions Week 11 injury report: Jared Goff, Trey Flowers sit on Wednesday

Goff’s status is unclear as the practice week begins.

Detroit Lions v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions were back in Allen Park on Wednesday preparing to travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns in Week 11. The Lions were relatively healthy coming out of the bye, but they left Pittsburgh last Sunday with a rash of injuries, including to quarterback Jared Goff.

With the importance of the quarterback position, let’s start there and take a closer look at where things stand.

Quarterback

  • QB Jared Goff (oblique) - No practice on Wednesday
  • QB Tim Boyle (thumb on right hand) — Day 8 of the 21-day evaluation period

Goff is considered day-to-day with an oblique injury—something he played through last week—and Boyle (who has returned to practice but is still technically on injured reserve) took starter reps, with reserve David Blough continuing to fill in as a backup option.

“We’re taking it day-to-day,” Campbell said of Goff on Wednesday. “He’s going to sit today, and then we’ll reassess tomorrow, see how he’s feeling.” Campbell went on to suggest this rest period is designed to manage the pain while allowing him to heal as quickly as possible.

Goff also spoke to the media on Wednesday saying he was “a little more sore than expected” and while he felt he could play with the pain, the injury is currently limiting his ability to use proper technique. Goff is hopeful rest will help him correct the issue, but it’s a time will tell situation, and the team will reevaluate him each day to determine his status for the upcoming game.

“If I feel I am not able to perform my job, then I shouldn’t be out there,” Goff said. “Until then, I am going to fight, scratch, and claw to be out there because I believe in myself.”

Boyle returned to practice last week and was working with the scout team, but Campbell said “he looked good” in those practices. Campbell would expand on that thought a bit more, saying Boyle “looked comfortable, and he’s throwing it well. You can tell the finger looks like it’s good.”

While Boyle will be working with the starters on Wednesday—and likely more days this week—he is still in the injury evaluation process himself. In order for him to be active on game day, the Lions would need to activate him from injured reserve—which they can do at any time—and because they currently have an open spot on the roster, they could do this without having to make a corresponding move.

Based on how the Lions have structured the depth chart and comments made from the coaching staff, the ideal pecking order of scenarios looks roughly like this:

  1. Goff is healthy enough to play and starts
  2. Goff is ruled out, Boyle is activated from IR and starts
  3. Goff is ruled out, Boyle is not ready to return, Blough starts (Steven Montez is elevated from the practice squad as a backup)

Let’s take a closer look at the official injury report from Wednesday to get a better picture of the rest of the Lions' injured players. (New injuries are in bold)

No practice on Wednesday

  • QB Jared Goff (oblique)
  • RB Jermar Jefferson (knee/ankle)
  • OL Matt Nelson (ankle)
  • EDGE Trey Flowers (knee)

After spending weeks on the injury report with a knee issue, Flowers was finally removed last week and looked to be fully healthy. Then, against the Steelers last Sunday, Flowers appeared to re-aggravate his knee and briefly left the game. He was able to return to action and even recovered a fumble in overtime. Getting a day off on Wednesday is no surprise for a veteran who has been dealing with a lingering issue all season, but his actions in the game last week suggest he’ll have a chance to play against the Browns.

Jefferson only saw three snaps last weekend, but he received a carry on each and scored a 28-yard touchdown on the last one. Unfortunately, in addition to scoring his second career touchdown, he also injured his ankle, which not only ruled him out of the game but also the beginning of practices this week. If he is unavailable this Sunday, the Lions will be hoping Jamaal Williams is healthy enough to return but if he is not, the team has preseason standout, Craig Reynolds, on the practice squad, who could be elevated for depth.

After starting eight games, Nelson was used in a reserve role Week 10 after Taylor Decker returned left tackle and Penei Sewell shifted to right tackle. Nelson was utilized as a sixth offensive lineman and was wrecking people in the run game. After 18 snaps in the role, Nelson injured his ankle and was forced from the contest. Will Holden took over the role, and if Nelson is unable to play this week, Holden would likely be called upon again.

Limited at practice

  • RB D’Andre Swift (shoulder)
  • RB Jamaal Williams (thigh)
  • EDGE Austin Bryant (shoulder)
  • SAF Tracy Walker (concussion)

Swift popped up on the injury report with a new shoulder injury. The Lions' top running back carried the ball a career-high 33 times on Sunday. Campbell acknowledged he would be limited on Wednesday, but does not seem too concerned about his availability.

“He’s good. We’ll limit him a little bit, but he’s good,” Campbell said.

Williams has not practiced or played since Week 7, so his return to practice is a welcome sight. While Jefferson and Godwin Igwebuike have played well in his stay, the Lions surely miss his on-field energy. With Jefferson banged up the Lions would greatly benefit from his availability.

Bryant was limited in practices all last week, was listed as questionable, and then inactive for the game. Starting this week out practicing, even limited, is encouraging but is not a guarantee of his availability.

Walker appears to be progressing through the league’s concussion protocols and is living up to his, I’m “doing fine” statement he made following the game. After today’s practice, Walker likely only has two hurdles to clear to be available for Sunday: first, get in a full practice, second, be cleared by an independent doctor.

Full practice

  • CB Jerry Jacobs (groin)

Jacobs left last week’s game with a groin injury and was unable to return. He was replaced by fellow UDFA rookie Mark Gilbert, and if Jacobs is unable to play this week, Gilbert would be expected to take over his role as starting outside corner. Fortunately, a full practice for Jacobs is an encouraging sign that he will have a chance to play against the Browns.

No longer on the injury report

  • CB AJ Parker (neck)
  • LT Taylor Decker (finger)

Parker missed the Eagles game in Week 8, but after the bye, he was practicing in full, did not carry an injury designation into Week 10, and played on 79 percent of the team's snaps. He appears to be fully healthy.

Decker played every snap last week, and he appears fully ready to participate on game days.

Returned to practice, Still on IR

  • QB Tim Boyle (thumb on right hand) — Day 8 of the 21-day evaluation period
  • CB Ifeatu Melifonwu (thigh) — Day 8 of the 21-day evaluation period
  • NB/KR Corey Balentine (hamstring) — Day 8 of the 21-day evaluation period

No new updates on Melifonwu or Ballentine at this time. Currently, they are on Day 8 of their injury evaluation period but are eligible to be activated at any time.