Sam Darnold is on track to return after missing two games due to a shoulder injury.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that barring a setback, Darnold will start for the 0-6 New York Jets Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, per a source informed of the situation.
Jets coach Adam Gase confirmed the news noting that if there are no setbacks, “We’ll roll.”
Darnold suffered the injury in Week 4 after getting tossed to the turf. He returned after missing a few snaps but was unable to play the past two weeks as Joe Flacco took the reins.
Gase isn’t concerned about Darnold returning too soon.
“It’s not like I’m worried about him re-hurting his shoulder,” the coach said, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. “He’s in pain. There’s a little bit of pain there for him… He wants to play. The biggest decision we had to make was ‘Is this the right thing to do?’ Because he wasn’t willing to take ‘No’ for an answer.”
An embattled coach who could be fired at any point this year bringing a young QB back to help save his job because that player “wants to play” should raise eyebrows in New York. But it’s par for the course with the current coaching staff. In Week 4, the Jets didn’t start rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton due to injury but had him activated in case of emergency. The stud first-year player immediately entered the game and got hurt again after just 17 snaps, missing the past two games.
The hope is the same fate doesn’t befall Darnold.
Darnold knows he’s fighting for his job, admitting this week he’s heard the calls for Gang Green to draft Trevor Lawrence if they stay on course for the No. 1 overall pick. Darnold needs to be on the field and win some games to keep from being replaced in New York.
While Darnold’s play has been up-and-down this season, he gives the Jets a better chance to win than Flacco.
The Jets face the Bills, Chiefs and Patriots in consecutive weeks. Darnold needs to play well for that stretch — and stay healthy — or the drumbeat to replace him will become louder.