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Report: Detroit Lions backup QB Tim Boyle returning to practice

Boyle will remain on IR, but the Lions can activate him anytime in the next three weeks.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions' backup quarterback Tim Boyle is reportedly close to returning to the team’s roster. According to a report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Lions are opening the practice window for Boyle this week, meaning the team has 21 calendar days to activate him from injured reserve.

Boyle suffered a broken thumb in the preseason after taking a nasty sack. The injury required surgery, sidelining him for the rest of the preseason and the team’s first eight games.

Boyle signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract this offseason to come in and compete with David Blough for the backup job behind Jared Goff. Boyle was considered by many to be the frontrunner for that job, but the two were fairly even during through training camp. That being said, Boyle was the first quarterback in during the preseason. In three preseason appearances, Boyle went 22-of-39 for 135 yards, one touchdown, and a 72.1 passer rating.

Though Boyle appears to be readying a return to the roster, don’t expect him to challenge Goff for the starting job anytime soon. Head coach Dan Campbell made it quite clear last week that he is not considering a quarterback change despite the team’s struggles on offense through eight games.

“Yeah, I don’t see a change,” Campbell told Detroit radio station 97.1 The Ticket last week. “Look, nothing was perfect about what we did offensively, but I didn’t feel like Goff was the issue. There’s a number of things that came up in that game that, man, he doesn’t have time or we’re not open, or the route depth (was off). Now, he’s got a hand in it like everybody does, but I don’t see a change coming at all.”