The Detroit Lions starters will return to the lineup for the team’s preseason finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. According to coach Dan Campbell, the Lions—along with the Steelers—have agreed to play their first-team players for about a half.
There is one notable exception, though. Campbell said starting quarterback Jared Goff will not play on Sunday. And even though Goff was able to talk his way onto the field for the preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
“You know, I don’t see Goff playing, and he’s not going to talk me into it,” Campbell said at his Monday press conference. “I told him that this morning, so he’ll know my conviction. But I do see the starters playing.”
Instead, the Lions will turn to reserve quarterbacks Tim Boyle and David Blough to carry the load in Pittsburgh. While Campbell said they still haven’t finalized which quarterback will start in Goff’s place, he gave the early edge to Boyle.
“We're still debating that back and forth, but I would say Tim Boyle right now,” Campbell continued. “But we will see where we go with it.”
The backup quarterback battle is “neck and neck” right now according to Campbell, and it’s just one of several roster battles the Lions will be looking closely at in game three of the preseason.
“Eight to 10? Somewhere in there probably,” Campbell said when estimating how many position battles were still undecided. “It’s gonna be tough (deciding cuts). It’s gonna be a tough deal this year.”
The Lions roster currently sits at 85 players, but by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday they will have to reduce that number to 80. The Lions can use as many of those 80 players as they deem necessary to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Then they have until the following Tuesday (August 30) to reduce their roster to 53 players.