It appears a Thanksgiving Day battle of quarterback backups has been avoided.
Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell said Tuesday he is "leaning toward" starting QB Jared Goff in the team's Thursday game against the Chicago Bears. Goff has been working through an oblique injury and missed last week's 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns, his first missed start of the year. He was been a limited participant in this week's practices.
Goff told reporters Tuesday he's feeling "better every day," adding on his status for Thursday, "We'll see. I don't know what (Campbell) has said, but I'd probably categorize it as a gameday decision. Feel good, though. Feel really good."
Campbell said of Goff's chances to play, "I think it's about 60% chance it's a 50-50," per Benjamin Raven of mlive.com.
The same can't be said in Chicago, where the Bears will go with Andy Dalton at quarterback in place of rookie starter Justin Fields. Bruised ribs sustained in the Bears' 16-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens knocked Fields out of last week's game and this week's as well. Dalton opened the season as the starter in Chicago, but the veteran gave way to Fields after two games.
Despite the Lions' 0-9-1 record and Goff's ineffectiveness, Campbell has stuck with the quarterback for whom the Lions traded Matthew Stafford in the offseason. Last week, because of Goff's injury, Lions backup QB Tim Boyle played and struggled mightily in his first career start, passing for just 77 yards with two interceptions and a hapless average of 3.3 yards per attempt.
The Lions seek their first win of the season against a Bears team that also has struggled at 3-7, and the passing attacks have been central to problems for both. Goff has thrown just eight touchdown passes all season while dealing with leaky pass protection and a below-average receiving corps. Fields has flashed big potential at times, but the Bears' average of 155.8 passing yards per game is nevertheless the NFL's worst by a wide margin (Texans, 194.6).