We heard yesterday that Jets QB Sam Darnold, who is suffering from mono, could be back on the field for Week 5, after the team’s Week 4 bye. However, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network hears that may be an overly optimistic prognosis, as his sources tell him Darnold could miss three to seven weeks (video link). Of course, if Darnold returns on the earlier end of that timeline, Week 5 would still be in play, but it sounds as if there’s a real chance the second-year signal-caller could be sidelined until Week 9.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports adds that there is no definitive date for Darnold’s return and that the Jets could be rolling with backup Trevor Siemian “well into October.” Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com also weighed in on the matter, observing that while Darnold remains quarantined, he is already feeling better (Twitter link). The team has not ruled out a Week 5 return, and Darnold will have more scans next week to monitor his spleen.
After dropping a Week 1 heartbreaker to the Bills, the Jets’ 2019 outlook is already grim. Though Gang Green was not necessarily viewed as a playoff contender this year, the team entered the offseason with high hopes given the promise Darnold showed in his rookie season and given the addition of several high-profile free agents and No. 3 overall pick Quinnen Williams. But in addition to Darnold, Williams and new LB C.J. Mosley have already been ruled out of Monday’s game against Cleveland, and new RB Le’Veon Bell is questionable. Plus, the more time Darnold misses, the longer it will take for him to master HC Adam Gase‘s offensive scheme.
Mortensen says the Jets are uploading daily practice installs for Darnold so that he can stay mentally sharp, and he is already studying future opposing defenses, but there is not substitute for regular season action (Twitter link).
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