The Detroit Lions announced that they have placed quarterback Jared Goff and offensive lineman Matt Nelson on the reserve/COVID-19 list, while also removing Jamaal Williams and Marcus Gilbert from the same list.
Goff was in rare form in Week 15. He was accurate, stood tough in the pocket, made confident throws, led the team to a 30-12 upset victory over the previous NFC top seed Arizona Cardinals, and earned a nomination for the FedEx Air Player of the week honors.
Goff’s stock couldn’t be any higher in Detroit right now but this unfortunate turn of events could be costly.
From a positive standpoint, with the new guidelines the NFL put in place late last week, it’s entirely possible that Goff (if vaccinated) could return to practice as soon as tomorrow if he is asymptomatic and meets other standards, such as producing a negative COVID-19 test.
The bad news, of course, is that it's possible he is symptomatic and unable to return. Furthermore, it is also an indicator that the Lions aren’t out of the woods yet with their spread of the virus.
The Lions had previously been removing players at a consistent pace and hadn’t had a new case since placing Jalen Elliott on the list last Thursday. By removing Williams and Gilbert the Lions brought the number down some more, only to see it rise again with the additions of Goff and Nelson (the 11th and 12th players to land on the list in the past two weeks). Detroit now only has three players from the active roster on the reserve/COVID-19 list, but there are also two practice squad defensive backs on the list as well: Nickell Robey-Coleman and Corey Ballentine.
In addition to the reserve/COVID-19 roster moves, the Lions also performed some other housekeeping formalities that were reported earlier on Monday by signing running back Craig Reynolds to the active roster and placing linebacker Alex Anzalone on injured reserve.