It was one thing the Jets can be grateful for: The sight of Sam Darnold on the observe area Wednesday with a helmet on his head. He did stretching workouts and agility drills whereas the media was capable of observe the early minutes of observe. Apparently, he didn’t do a lot else, although, as he was listed as “Did Not Apply” on the harm report.
Todd Bowles was coy when requested if Darnold may be capable of begin Sunday’s recreation in opposition to the Patriots at Met Life Stadium.
“He’s progressing alongside. We’ll see how he’s by Friday,” was all the pinnacle coach would say.
This actually doesn’t must be mentioned, however except Darnold is 100 p.c bodily and mentally, the Jets ought to wait till he’s earlier than placing the rookie quarterback again in motion. Bowles mentioned he would “error on the aspect of warning,” and also you hope he does. There’s no cause for the Jets to likelihood any sort of setback with Darnold. Not even when he’s 75 or 80 p.c. The Jets have an excessive amount of invested in his future to do something silly now.
“We’ll see how he progresses,” Bowles mentioned.
Darnold missed the 41-10 loss to the Payments on Nov. 11, nursing a sprained foot suffered the earlier week in a 13-6 setback to the Dolphins. The Jets performed so poorly in opposition to the Payments, the embattled Jets teaching employees is likely to be desperate to get Darnold again within the lineup to salvage as many wins as doable. However it’s the longer term, not their 3-7 report, the Jets must be involved with.
Darnold has gone from carrying a boot to being again on the sphere, however he isn’t capable of observe. That already makes him a protracted shot to play in his first recreation in opposition to the Patriots. Foot accidents could be difficult. One fallacious tweak and the harm might be aggravated, costing him extra video games.
Darnold additionally hasn’t had any reps for the reason that harm. He wants observe time earlier than taking part in. If he had been a 10-year vet, maybe he may step proper in after a protracted absence. However this can be a new expertise for the 21-year-old first-round draft choose from Southern Cal, and the temptation of doing an excessive amount of too quickly must be thought-about.
“As a competitor you at all times need to go on the market and play,” Darnold mentioned. “When you may’t, it sucks. I at all times need to go on the market and play.”
He admitted sitting out video games due to an harm to guard his well being versus being on the sphere to assist his group is a steadiness he hasn’t mastered but.
“Making an attempt to handle these issues is the toughest factor for me to know,” Darnold mentioned. “However I’ve to stick with the method and proceed to work laborious each day.”
The choice can be simpler if Josh McCown had performed higher in opposition to the Payments. The Jets had been a humiliation, trailing 31-Three at halftime. McCown began for Darnold and appeared like a 39-year-old quarterback, who hadn’t performed all season. The Jets managed simply 199 yards of whole offense and transformed simply 1 of 12 third-down conditions. McCown was 17-of-34 for 135 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. His quarterback ranking was 35.8.
Nonetheless, it is likely to be good for Darnold to take a seat out one other recreation. He was struggling previous to the harm, having thrown seven interceptions and simply two touchdowns in his earlier three begins. If he’s on the bench Sunday, he’ll not solely get to shadow McCown, however he additionally might study one thing from an up-close and private view of watching Tom Brady play.
Backside line, it will be stunning if Darnold begins on Sunday in opposition to the Patriots. One in all lately, a Darnold-Brady showdown will make sense. It doesn’t this week.