Jets QB Darnold suits up for practice, but sits out again
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Sam Darnold had his jersey and helmet back on, a positive sign for the New York Jets rookie quarterback.
He still sat out team drills again Wednesday, making it more likely that he’ll miss his second straight game.
Darnold suited up for practice for the first time since injuring his right foot nearly three weeks ago, and coach Todd Bowles said he’s progressing. But it’s uncertain if he’ll be healthy enough to play Sunday against New England.
“Every single day, I feel like I’m progressing so much more and doing so much more, in terms of running,” Darnold said. “Hopefully I can do a little bit more (Thursday) and see where we go from there.”
Darnold was injured at Miami on Nov. 4 and sat out the Jets’ next game against Buffalo on Nov. 11. Josh McCown started in his place and would do so again if Darnold is unable to play.
“He’s getting better,” Bowles said of Darnold. “He’s progressing along. We’ll see how he is by Friday.”
Darnold was in a walking boot for a few days leading up to the team’s game against Buffalo, and remained in sweats as an onlooker during the team’s past few practices before Wednesday.
He appeared to have no restrictions during light warmups, but did not throw a pass during the 30-minute window the media are allowed to watch.
The No. 3 overall draft pick leads the NFL with 14 interceptions and threw just two touchdown passes with seven INTs in the three games before the injury. Darnold’s struggles had some fans and media wondering if a break from playing could do him some good.
“As a competitor, you always want to go out there and play and when you’re not doing that, you know, it (stinks),” Darnold said. “I always want to go out there and play, but at the same time I also want to be healthy. So, I think trying to manage those things is really the hardest thing for me and the hardest thing for me to understand, but I’ve just got to stay with the process and continue to work hard every single day to get back.”
Darnold still has a chance to play if he can get in a practice or two during the next few days. While it’s rare for Bowles to have a player active despite not practicing all week, Darnold doesn’t think it would be an impossible task for him.
“It will definitely be a little bit more of a challenge than if I were at practice the whole week, but I’ve been running this offense for a while now, for 10, 11 weeks,” he said. “I feel like I wouldn’t really miss a beat there. It would just be about getting the reps with the guys and throwing a little bit and getting my shoulder right.”
If the 21-year-old Darnold starts against 41-year-old Tom Brady, it would mark the largest age gap between starting quarterbacks — 19 years, 306 days — since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
Consider this: When Brady made his NFL debut for the Patriots in November 2000, Darnold was only 3.
“I think consistency is the biggest thing with him,” Darnold said of Brady. “His whole time playing, he’s been so consistent, so I think that’s the biggest thing for me, looking at it from afar.”
NOTES: WR Robby Anderson (ankle) did not practice and wasn’t on the field — not a good sign for a player who also had a bye-week break. Anderson didn’t play against Buffalo and could sit out for the third time in four games. “He’s sore, but he’s coming along,” Bowles said, adding that there’s no thought yet of shutting Anderson down for the rest of the season. ... Also sitting out practice were: S Marcus Maye (shoulder/thumb), LG James Carpenter (shoulder) and LB Brandon Copeland (elbow). WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle) was limited.