PITTSBURGH — The Detroit Lions went into Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers determined to run the ball in soggy conditions, and those plans were amplified when starting quarterback Jared Goff suffered a strained oblique late in the first quarter.
Goff said he injured his side on an underthrown deep pass to Kalif Raymond one play after Julian Okwara intercepted Steelers starter Mason Rudolph.
Goff had minus-1 yard passing in the first quarter and was 11 for 20 for 54 yards passing in regulation.
He finished 14 of 25 for 114 yards as the Lions and Steelers tied on a rainy day at Heinz Field, 16-16.
“I don’t want to sit up here and say I was hurt and whatever and make excuses,” Goff said. “It was bothering me, but I felt like I could compete and throw fine, and I felt like I did. I don’t feel like it was a hindrance at any point.”
The Lions (0-8-1) ran on 39 of their 68 offensive plays, finished with a season-high 229 yards rushing and moved the ball almost exclusively on the ground in regulation.
Goff appeared uncomfortable at times on the sideline and in the huddle, often throwing between breaks in the action.
Lions coach Dan Campbell said he consulted with Goff, quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell and the Lions medical staff, but never seriously considered pulling Goff and putting in backup quarterback David Blough.
“We all felt like he was good. He was good enough to go,” Campbell said. “From him to Brunell to the trainers, we all felt like, ‘OK, he’s good enough to stay in there,’ so that’s why I stuck with it. I have to go with my gut and look him in the eyes, and I have to listen to the opinion of our trainers and if we can feel like he can make it, he can make it.”
Goff severely underthrew Raymond with 1:39 left in the first quarter on a play that should have been a touchdown and was off the mark on several short passes to running back D’Andre Swift.
He said he never has injured an oblique before, but insisted his offensive inefficiency — he had his worst passing day since a 78-yard performance Oct. 13, 2019, against the San Francisco 49ers — was more about the rainy conditions than his health.
“Just kind of nagged me a little bit throughout the game,” Goff said. “I felt like I was fine to stay in there and felt like it didn’t affect me throughout the game. But it’ll be a little sore tomorrow but I’ll be fine.”
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions QB Jared Goff suffers strained oblique vs. Steelers
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