On Wednesday, Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell addressed the media and explained that they have plans in place if they can’t control the COVID-19 outbreak throughout their Allen Park training facility.
For the past two and a half weeks, the Lions have moved 12 players onto their reserve/COVID-19 list, and as of Wednesday, they have removed eight. The entire Lions’ coaching staff is vaccinated and boostered and none have been restricted by the league's protocols at this time.
Of the four players remaining on the reserve/COVID-19 list, starting quarterback Jared Goff is the most notable. Goff was placed on the list on Monday, self-reporting after experiencing some mild symptoms on Sunday night after the game. By Tuesday, Goff went on a local radio show, said he was “feeling good” and hoped to be cleared before Sunday so he could play against the Atlanta Falcons. Unfortuantly, it’s a waiting game, as he continues to test daily and hope for a negative return.
On Wednesday, Campbell echoed Goff’s statements on his health and explained how he was virtually participating in team practices and meetings.
“He’s feeling pretty good,” Campbell said. “So, he was in the meeting today (virtually), and the iPad was there for him (to participate)... He’s got the (game) plan at home right now, he’s looking at it, and it’s kind of like when he had the flu a couple weeks ago. We had the iPad out there (on the practice field) as the plays were being called... So, it’s like he is here as much as he can be, without actually being in the building.”
In addition to getting live practice feeds and cut-ups from the team’s video department, Goff also has a workout regimen set up by head athletic trainer Kevin Bastin.
“Kevin Bastin and those guys have given him a treatment plan,” Campbell explained. “We delivered everything that we needed (to his home)... So, he has everything he needs, and we’re making the most of it, and he’s certainly attacking it as much as he can.”
While the team is preparing to bring Goff back if possible, they also need a backup plan in case he is not cleared.
While Campbell wouldn’t commit to Tim Boyle or David Blough as the starter if Goff was unavailable, he did note that Boyle has taken most of the scout team reps since returning from injury four weeks ago and he also ran the offense two weeks ago when Goff was sick and missed practice.
“I don’t feel like we’re going to be hindered (with Goff not practicing),” Campbell said. “Certainly we will have a plan for where he’ll (Boyle) succeed, as the offense will, but I don’t think we’re going to be hindered.”
While the plan at quarterback is fairly straightforward, the Lions are also planning for the unknown, specifically if the spread reaches the coaching staff.
“We’ve got pretty much everything set up as to who is next in line,” Campbell explained. “Certainly, (Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs) Duce (Staley) would take my role over if it was me. Play calling, (Offensive Coordinator Anthony Lynn) A-Lynn would handle it and defensively (Senior Defensive Assistant) Coach (Dom) Capers would, and so on. And hopefully, if you get into the third level of that, then we’ve got plans for that, too.”