Lions' Goff feeling fine after testing positive for COVID; status for Sunday in doubt

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

A day after testing positive for the COVID-19, Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff provided an update on how he's feeling during a Tuesday morning interview with 97.1-FM. 

"I'm feeling good," Goff said. "It's pretty much a mild cold. I'm feeling fine."

Last week, after more than 100 positive cases around the league, the NFL changed its COVID testing policy, no longer requiring weekly tests for asymptomatic vaccinated players. But Goff acknowledged he started experiencing symptoms after Sunday night's game with the Arizona Cardinals and submitted himself to testing on Monday morning, out of an abundance of caution. 

Lions quarterback Jared Goff is in COVID protocol.

"I said I might as well just make sure this is good to go and sure enough, I was positive," he said. 

Goff was one of three Lions players placed on the COVID/reserve list on Monday, along with offensive tackle Matt Nelson and wide receiver Quintez Cephus, who is currently on injured reserve with a broken collarbone. 

More: Lions film review: Five components that were key in crushing Cardinals

Those three brought the team's two-week total of COVID cases to 13, with six having already been medically cleared and returning to the team. 

But each of those six players were sidelined at least one game before returning, putting Goff in jeopardy of missing his second game this season when the Lions travel to Atlanta to play the Falcons on Sunday. 

In the meantime, he said take the necessary steps to clear the COVID from his system as quickly as possible with rest, hydration and whatever vitamins and/or medications the team's medical staff recommends. 

As part of the changes to the league's COVID policies, Goff, as a vaccinated player, would need just one negative PCR test, or a positive test with a CT level of 35 or higher, to rejoin the team. 

"I don't know the chances," Goff said. "I think I have a chance of testing negative as well as I have a chance of testing positive every day. I really don't know. I'll test every day and we'll find out. If I happen to test negative in the next couples days, yeah, I'm sure there's a chance."

The COVID diagnosis is another bump in what's been a rough stretch for the Lions quarterback. He missed last month's game against the Cleveland Browns after suffering an oblique strain a week earlier, and he also battled the flu ahead of the team's trip to Denver earlier this month. 

Goff did express some frustrations that he was able to play after having the flu, while COVID, with milder symptoms, could knock him out of the lineup. 

"It is interesting," Goff said. "I had the flu a couple weeks ago and they didn't have a problem with me playing, but I'm not allowed to play with this. I tested flu positive and I was in the building the next day and there was no issue."

Goff is coming off his best start of the season, completing 21 of his 26 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-12 victory over the Cardinals

If he can't go on Sunday, the Lions would likely turn to Tim Boyle. He made the first start of his career in that game against Cleveland.

Returning from a lengthy absence with a thumb injury, and playing in inclement conditions, the Lions rarely asked Boyle to throw downfield in that contest. He finished the day completing 15-of-23 for 77 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in the 13-10 loss

Flowers honored

The Lions named outside linebacker Trey Flowers the team's Ed Block Courage Award recipient as the player who best exemplifies sportsmanship or has overcome injury and adversity to excel on the field.

Flowers has struggled through multiple injuries the past couple seasons, missing nine games in 2020 after suffering a broken forearm. A nagging knee injury has seen the team captain in and out of the lineup this year, limiting him to seven appearances. 

He's currently on injured reserve with that knee issue. In those seven games, he tallied 24 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers