The battle to be the Detroit Lions No. 2 quarterback is not settled, so at least there will be something more substantive to watch in the preseason finale.
After the Detroit Lions‘ first preseason game, if only because it didn’t take much to outdo Tim Boyle, David Blough seemed to get an edge in the battle to be the No. 2 quarterback. With Jared Goff not playing at all in Saturday’s second preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, Blough’s edge was confirmed when he got the start.
Blough made some hay as a runner (three carries for 18 yards), and led a touchdown drive with less than two minutes to go in the first half, capped by Tom Kennedy’s first of two touchdown catches in the game.
But otherwise there wasn’t much to be seen, as Blough averaged just 3.5 yards per attempt (16-for-22 for 76 yards) with a poor decision to a covered receiver leading to a tipped-ball interception.
Boyle led two touchdown drives, the first and last, during his run in the second half. Overall his passing numbers were fine (12-for-15 for 99 yards and a touchdown), but he still left a lot to be desired.
Detroit Lions backup quarterback battle heads into preseason finale
Preseason finales generally are even less compelling than other preseason games, as no one who’s a key player or has a roster spot locked up on a team suits up. The Lions will carry some interesting battles for jobs and roster spots into next Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers though, with the battle between Blough and Boyle toward the top of the list.
The loser may find himself among the final cutdown to 53 players, if the Lions choose to only keep two quarterbacks on the active roster.
An interesting tentacle to the preseason finale against the Steelers involves Pittsburgh’s No. 3 quarterback Mason Rudolph. Pittsburgh radio host Andrew Fillipponi passed along a note from a former NFL general manager that a deal sending Rudolph to the Lions was looming early last week, but that “by the end of the week” timeframe has now come and gone.
Rudolph is certainly available, but per Filliponi the Steelers’ asking price appears to be a third or maybe fourth-round pick. The situation is not the same, but considering Baker Mayfield was acquired by the Panthers for a fifth-rounder no one is giving the Steelers a third or fourth-rounder for Rudolph.
The Lions should be keeping an eye on available backup quarterback options as the last two rounds of roster cuts are made around the league. But as of now Boyle and Blough are set to carry their battle all the way through the preseason, for better or worse.