Head coach Dan Campbell talks with Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff during action against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, September 12, 2021 at Ford Field.

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Reports: Lions lean toward keeping Jared Goff in ’23

When Jared Goff was traded to the Detroit Lions on the first day of the league year in 2021, the widely held belief was the former No. 1 overall pick of the Rams would be looking for a new team in 2023.

According to reports, the Lions haven’t bought into that theory and, in fact, are leaning the opposite direction — toward keeping the 28-year-old Goff for at least the final two years of his contract.

Goff is owed a $5 million roster bonus in March but has a base salary of $20.65 million for 2023. Parting with Goff would cost the Lions more than $10 million.

With only one interception in his past 193 pass attempts covering six games, Goff is driving Detroit’s second-half run. The Lions are favored against the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings (10-2) on Sunday.

“Goff is playing at a very high level,” coach Dan Campbell said last month. “He’s certainly given us a chance to win these games. I can’t say enough good things about him. Hhe’s built a camaraderie with these receivers, he trusts them, they’re all on the same page. That goes a long way.”

Goff has the Lions (5-7) thinking playoffs this season in a rapid turnaround marked by a potent offense. Goff has 19 touchdown passes and seven interceptions in 2022.

In his seventh NFL season, Goff has a 50-44-1 record as a starter. He has completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 24,438 yards with 145 touchdowns and 70 interceptions.

The temptation to draft a quarterback of the future didn’t lead general manager Brad Holmes to use the 2022 No. 2 overall pick on a passer. Instead, the Lions drafted defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.

Holmes spent 17 years with the Rams’ organization and was extremely familiar with Goff when he traded for him.

In the latest return from the Rams as part of the Matthew Stafford-Goff swap, the Lions will receive Los Angeles’ first-round pick in the 2023 draft. That selection is likely to bring another top-five pick based on the current standings, and Holmes has two first- and two-second round picks to work with in April.

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) runs with the ball and tries to avoid a tackle from Jacksonville Jaguars safety Andrew Wingard (42) during the first half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Lions win fourth in five games by romping past Jaguars

Jared Goff passed for 340 yards, including two touchdown strikes to Amon-Ra St. Brown, as the host Detroit Lions won for the fourth time in five games by romping past the Jacksonville Jaguars 40-14 on Sunday.

Goff completed 31 of 41 pass attempts. St. Brown caught 11 passes for 114 yards, while D’Andre Swift had 62 rushing yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Jamaal Williams scored his league-leading 14th touchdown and DJ Chark made five receptions for 98 yards.

Michael Badgley made all four of his field goal attempts for Detroit (5-7). The Lions picked up 31 first downs, committed just one penalty and had no turnovers.

Trevor Lawrence completed 17 of 31 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars (4-8). Travis Etienne Jr. rushed for 54 yards on 13 carries. Christian Kirk led the receiving corps with six catches for 104 yards.

Goff passed for 204 first-half yards as the Lions raced to a 23-6 lead.

Etienne fumbled on Jacksonville’s second play from scrimmage and Detroit’s Alex Anzalone recovered at Jacksonville’s 38. The Lions cashed in on Williams’ 1-yard scoring run.

Riley Patterson’s 31-yard field goal put the Jaguars on the board.

Detroit answered with Goff’s 10-yard touchdown pass to St. Brown. Chark had a 41-yard reception to set up that score.

Badgley’s 45-yard field goal early in the second quarter gave the Lions a 17-3 lead. Badgley finished off Detroit’s next possession with a 47-yard field goal.

Patterson kicked a 42-year field goal with four minutes remaining in the half before Badgley drilled a 38-yard field goal in the final minute.

The Lions drove 61 yards on the first possession of the second half and scored on Swift’s 1-yard run to make it 30-6.

Jacksonville scored its first touchdown on Lawrence’s 3-yard pass to Evan Engram. Lawrence connected with Jamal Agnew for the 2-point conversion.

Badgley converted from 44-yards out on Detroit’s ensuing possession, and Goff hit St. Brown from four yards out with less than three minutes left for the final margin.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (1) runs the ball during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars RB Travis Etienne, WR Zay Jones active vs. Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne and wide receiver Zay Jones are both active for Sunday’s game at Detroit.

Etienne (foot) and Jones (chest) had both been listed as questionable.

Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams, the No. 12 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, is active for the first time this season since coming off a torn ACL.

The Jaguars (4-7) listed the following players as inactive: safety Andre Cisco, wide receiver Kendric Pryor, running back Darrell Henderson Jr., cornerback Tre Herndon and linebacker De’Shaan Dixon.

The inactive players for the Lions (4-7) are defensive lineman Michael Brockers, center Evan Brown, wide receiver Tom Kennedy, defensive lineman Romeo Okwara, cornerback Amani Oruwariye and guard Logan Stenberg.

–Field Level Media

Detroit Lions receiver Jameson Williams watches passing drills during practice Thursday, July 28, 2022 at the Allen Park practice facility.

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Lions activate rookie WR Jameson Williams

The Detroit Lions activated wideout Jameson Williams off the non-football injury list Saturday, paving the way for the rookie to make his NFL debut.

The Lions moved up 20 spots to draft Williams in this year’s draft. Williams has been rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in the College Football Playoff championship game in January while playing for Alabama.

Also Saturday, the Lions activated Romeo Okwara from the reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list and placed Julian Okwara on injured reserve.

The team also elevated OL Ross Pierschbacher from the practice squad to the active roster.

The Lions host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Lions quarterback Jared Goff, left, and receiver Jameson Williams play walk off the field after playing catch after practice during minicamp on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Allen Park.

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Lions first-round WR Jameson Williams could debut Sunday

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell needs another day to weigh the decision of whether to play rookie first-round wide receiver Jameson Williams for the first time on Sunday.

Williams is officially questionable, but feels his recovery from a torn ACL in the 2022 national championship game is now complete.

Wearing the familiar No. 9 last donned by Matthew Stafford, Williams was a part of the scout team in practice this week. Campbell said the rookie looks every bit the part, but wasn’t ready to commit to playing him Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars come to Ford Field.

“Every day it’s been better. He got a pretty good load,” Campbell said of Williams’ practice schedule.

Williams said he’s going “somewhere close to full speed” and doesn’t believe so-called rust is a factor.

“I’m running real fast right now,” Williams said. “I feel real fast. I’m feeling good.”

But Williams said he won’t have much say in the decision on his return date, which could be shifted to next week against the Minnesota Vikings.

Williams, 21, started the season on the NFI list, rehabbing a torn ACL sustained in the College Football Playoff championship game while playing for Alabama against Georgia in January.

Williams was a big-play threat for the Crimson Tide with four touchdown receptions of 70-plus yards. The Lions took on the risk despite his injury, trading up 20 spots to select Williams in the first round.

–Field Level Media

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) high-fives tight end Evan Engram (17) during the second quarter of a regular season NFL football matchup Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The Jaguars edged the Ravens 28-27. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

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Clinging to slim playoff hopes, Lions, Jaguars clash

The Jacksonville Jaguars and host Detroit Lions bring identical records into their matchup on Sunday.

At 4-7, both teams would probably need to run the table to challenge for a playoff spot. Yet in different ways, they each enter the contest with a renewed sense of confidence.

Jacksonville rallied from a nine-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Baltimore Ravens 28-27 last Sunday. Trevor Lawrence hasn’t often resembled a No. 1 overall pick, but he looked like a star in the making during the comeback.

Lawrence led the Jaguars on a 10-play, 75-drive in the final two minutes, culminating with a touchdown pass to Marvin Jones and a two-point conversion toss to Zay Jones.

It’s a much bigger longshot for the Jaguars to go on a winning streak and join the playoff race, but coach Doug Pederson won’t discount that possibility.

“I’ve been around this league a long time. Anything is possible,” Pederson said. “Detroit’s in a situation where they could go on a little run here and affect the outcome of their season too. Yes, we understand that it’s a one-game season, the importance of this game and we’ve got some really good opponents down the stretch here.”

Lawrence passed for a season-high 321 yards and three touchdowns against the Ravens.

“I see a player who’s gotten better, particularly over the last three or four weeks,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “That last drive last week was — that was big. Every week I feel like, man, if you’re not careful, he’ll pick you apart.”

The Lions had a three-game winning streak halted in their annual Thanksgiving Day game but earned some national respect in the process. Buffalo, one of the league’s top teams, needed a field goal in the closing seconds to escape with a 28-25 win.

“Oh, it’s turned (the corner),” quarterback Jared Goff said. “We’ve turned and have won three of our last four and felt like we had a good chance to win last week and feel like we can play with anybody. So, yeah, we’re there and certainly a different team than we were earlier in the year and can play with anybody and beat anybody.”

Goff hasn’t thrown an interception over the last three games. He’s thrown 15 touchdown passes compared to three interceptions in six home starts this season.

“The offensive line is really good at protecting Jared,” Pederson said. “He’s done a nice job of distributing the football. They’ve been scoring points. It hasn’t been one of their issues. They’re putting points on the board and (gone on) a little bit of a hot streak recently.”

Jamaal Williams has emerged as a premier goal-line back, scoring an NFL-best 13 touchdowns.

Goff doesn’t feel like the playoffs are out of reach, despite the team’s record.

“Last year, you think about this time last year, and you’re kind of out of it. Just human nature, it’s hard to get going every day,” he said. It’s hard to get yourself ready to go on Sundays and even throughout the week, Wednesday through Friday. Now, we’re in the mix.”

Detroit’s biggest injury concern entering the game is offensive tackle Penei Sewell, who missed Wednesday’s practice due to an ankle injury. The Jaguars top running back, Travis Etienne Jr., was limited in practice on Wednesday due to a foot injury.

–Field Level Media

Nov 24, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) scrambles away from Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller (40) in the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Bills LB Von Miller (knee) ruled out vs. Lions

Buffalo Bills star linebacker Von Miller was carted off late in the second quarter of the team’s Thanksgiving Day game against the host Detroit Lions.

Miller, 33, sustained a knee injury while trying to chase down quarterback Jared Goff during a Lions’ scoring drive.

The eight-time Pro Bowl selection and Super Bowl 50 MVP was ushered to the medical tent on the visitors’ sideline before he was carted to the locker room. He was quickly ruled out for the rest of the game.

Miller, who has won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Rams, had eight sacks entering Thursday’s contest.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White (27) breaks up a pass intended for Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Bills CB Tre’Davious White active vs. Lions

Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White is listed as active for the first time this season ahead of Thursday’s road game against the Detroit Lions.

White, 27, sustained a season-ending torn ACL during last year’s Thanksgiving Day game against the New Orleans Saints.

He was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2019 along with earning Pro Bowl nods in 2019 and 2020. He has 16 interceptions, 60 pass breakups, five forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 279 tackles for his career.

While White is active, the Bills (7-3) listed the following players as inactive: center Mitch Morse, linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and Baylon Spector, defensive ends Greg Rousseau and A.J. Epenesa, defensive back Cam Lewis and tight end Tommy Sweeney.

Cornerback Jeff Okudah, guards Jonah Jackson and Evan Brown, and defensive linemen Charles Harris, Josh Paschal and Michael Brockers are inactive for the Lions (4-6).

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Streaking Lions chase four in a row, brace for Bills

Heading into November, the Detroit Lions resembled a train wreck. Entering their traditional Thanksgiving Day game, the Lions are suddenly on the fast track to playing meaningful games in December.

Their hopes of entering the playoff picture could quickly be derailed when they host the powerful Buffalo Bills (7-3).

Detroit (4-6) comes into the game with a three-game winning streak, including a convincing 31-18 road triumph over the New York Giants on Sunday. The Lions will be seeking to string together four consecutive wins for the first time since 2016, when they had five victories in a row.

“It’s huge. I think just getting a win against a good team on the road is always a good boost,” quarterback Jared Goff said. “We came into that game, all we heard about was how good they were in the red zone, how good they were on third down. And we said, ‘Well, we’re pretty good in the red zone too, and we’re pretty good on third down.’ And being able to prove that against a good team on the road is a lot of fun, and hopefully that carries over.”

The Lions have a razor-thin margin for error, but an upset Thursday would put them in the NFC wildcard race.

“None of it matters in my opinion if we don’t win this next one,” coach Dan Campbell said. “We’re in a good place, the guys understand the things that we’re doing that are allowing us to win. And we’ve got to continue to do that, and I know we can’t start thinking other things and get ourselves out of the mold of what we’ve been the last three weeks. We’ve got to stay the course.”

Protecting the ball has been a key component to the turnaround. They’ve committed just one turnover in the past three games.

In an ironic twist, the Bills have spent more time in Detroit’s Ford Field lately than the home team. A massive snowstorm in the Buffalo area forced a relocation of the Cleveland-Buffalo game to Detroit last week, and the Bills snapped a two-game losing streak with a 31-23 victory.

Quarterback Josh Allen was held to a modest 197 yards passing but connected with Stefon Diggs for a touchdown in the closing seconds of the first half. Allen led them on five scoring drives in the second half, four of which ended with Tyler Bass field goals.

“Everyone expects him to be Superman every game all the time, every throw,” coach Sean McDermott said. “I just love the fact that A, he’s human, and B, that he was able to work himself through (a slow start). That says way more about him than probably most people give him credit for in terms of his performance.”

Buffalo is familiar with playing in Detroit and no stranger to Thanksgiving Day games. The Bills defeated the New Orleans Saints 31-6 last Thanksgiving and recorded a 26-15 victory over Dallas in 2019.

“For the players and coaches who have never done it before, I think it’s an honor and fun to be a part of a tradition like that, especially playing at Detroit, who has traditionally played on Thanksgiving,” McDermott said.

Detroit’s top cover corner, Jeff Okudah, is expected to miss the game due to a concussion.

Center Mitch Morse (elbow, ankle) was among the Bills who didn’t practice on Tuesday.

–Field Level Media

Lions quarterback Jared Goff, left, and receiver Jameson Williams play walk off the field after playing catch after practice during minicamp on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Allen Park.

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Lions first-round WR Jameson Williams practices Monday

Rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams took the field for practice with the Detroit Lions on Monday, marking the debut of the 12th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Lions have 21 days to activate Williams from non-football injury list (NFI) to the active roster.

Williams, 21, started the season on the NFI list, rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in the College Football Playoff championship game while playing for Alabama against Georgia in January.

Williams was a big-play threat for the Crimson Tide with four TD receptions of 70-plus yards. The Lions took on the risk despite his injury, trading up 20 spots to select Williams in the first round.

Head coach Dan Campbell said last week that Williams was close, but projected he would return after the Week 12 Thanksgiving Day game with the Buffalo Bills.

“I don’t know if that would be the Jacksonville week or the week after. It could be (Thanksgiving) week, it’s just we’re not doing a ton, but he’s close. We’ll see where it goes. He’s progressing, there’s no setbacks,” Campbell said.

–Field Level Media