The Lions should cut both David Blough and Tim Boyle

The summer-long battle between Tim Boyle and David Blough to be the backup quarterback in Detroit did not end well. That’s an understatement almost as egregious as some of the passes offered up by the duo in the Lions’ 19-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the preseason finale on Sunday evening.

Blough was spirited but underwhelming, showing the ability to make some fun improvisational plays but a stark inability to make several routine throws from the pocket or in the red zone. Yet he was miles better in Pittsburgh than Boyle, who started the game after outperforming Blough in the exhibition win in Indianapolis a week earlier.

After the game, Lions head coach Dan Campbell dodged saying anything directly about either of the reserve QBs–both of whom the Lions re-signed this offseason as free agents.

“Here’s what I would say,” Campbell said when asked about the battle for QB2 in Detroit. “It became very clear. I think we got things answered. And I would leave it at that.”

He reiterated the same basic point a few times.

“I feel like we got a lot of clarity.”

Watching the game, I also experienced clarity on the backup QB position. Neither Boyle nor Blough deserves to be Jared Goff’s backup. Neither showed enough all summer to deserve the right to carry the clipboard and be one Jared Goff injury away from being in control of the Lions offense. That has become abundantly clear in the last month-plus of training camp and three preseason games.

One unorthodox solution, one that I would strongly suggest GM Brad Holmes and the Lions consider:

Cut them both.

Now, that cannot be done without a clear plan of succession. And right now the alternatives are not very appealing in their own right. But players better than both Blough and Boyle will become available no later than Tuesday.

It could be a trade of an extra wide receiver (Tom Kennedy?) or offensive lineman (Logan Stenberg?) who will have more value to other teams than they do in Detroit. Guys like Sam Ehlinger in Indianapolis, Josh Rosen in Cleveland, Kellen Mond in Minnesota, Mike White with the Jets are all facing uphill roster battles to make their respective teams. All are young enough to offer some potential to stick in Detroit beyond 2022. More than Blough or Boyle in that regard, anyway.

Going through the roster cutdown to 53 players on Tuesday and only having one QB on the roster is unconventional. It’s a dangerous acknowledgment by the Lions organization that their backup plan at QB has failed, quite literally.

But it sure doesn’t seem any more dangerous than trusting the team to Blough or Boyle. Not after the summer we’ve seen from them both. They were given their best shot to prove otherwise, but instead only affirmed that it’s just not going to work. Keeping Blough–who is indeed the better option of the duo–means that a better player at a different position (RB Justin Jackson? Stenberg? Rookie CB Chase Lucas?) will not make the 53-man roster because of it.

It’s a radical approach, different than the weird but ultimately correct choice last year to cut both kickers at the end of the preseason. While any Lions fan can tell you a kicker is important, finding a passable one off the street is a lot easier than finding a competent backup QB. But the fundamental principle behind that decision is the same, and it’s a well where Holmes, Campbell and the Lions should dip into once again.

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire

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