New York Jets: Sam Darnold expects to be cleared for Week 6
By James Cunningham
Nearly a month after being diagnosed with mono, New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold has a good feeling he’ll be cleared to play against the Dallas Cowboys.
What a mess the first quarter of the season has been. After a brutal 0-4 start, which consisted of several key injuries, the season didn’t look like it could get much worse. For the first time in a long time, the New York Jets got some good news on their star quarterback, Sam Darnold.
In an interview with ESPN’s Michael Kay, Darnold told Kay that he has a “good feeling” he’ll be cleared on Tuesday for contact and be ready for the team’s Week 6 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.
Darnold has been out for the past three games with mono, only playing in one game so far this season.
Jets QB Sam Darnold said he's "excited to hear the news" regarding tomorrow's lab tests. "I have a feeling it's going to be good news. I thought maybe it would come last week, but I had to wait it out again." (Via TMKS on ESPN 98.7).
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) October 7, 2019
It appeared as if Darnold would be cleared in time to play the Philadelphia Eagles, but he was ruled out on Friday after practicing during the week.
Darnold said heading into the Week 4 bye that he expected to be ready by then but wasn’t positive (for good reason, obviously). It was clear he was almost fully recovered but missed the game by just a day or two.
Darnold’s return will be a huge boost to the Jets’ offense. They’ve been an atrocity since he went down, ranking dead last in almost every offensive category.
His backup, Trevor Siemian, suffered an injury in his first start leaving the practice squad quarterback, Luke Falk, to fill Darnold’s shoes.
Falk reminded us why he’s a practice squad quarterback. The entire offense struggled immensely with Falk at the helm. The field seemed ridiculously short for Falk as he averaged just 5.7 yards per pass attempt.
They had an impressively bad touchdown drought as well. The offense didn’t find the end zone until garbage time against the Eagles. They went 11 quarters of football without scoring.
Jets fans have hope that the return of Darnold and one of his favorite targets, Chris Herndon, will give the offense some life. Things will definitely improve, mostly because they can’t get any worse.
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The playbook should be much more opened with Darnold on the field and Herndon is a talent that can’t be ignored by defenses. Ryan Griffin has been almost dead silent in the Jets’ passing game. Herndon fixes that at the tight end spot.
The wide receiving group should benefit a ton from Darnold’s return as well. Especially Robby Anderson, who has been a non-factor so far this season.
Anderson had a very strong finish to the 2018 season with Darnold, and it appeared they finally started to connect with each other. The Temple product could be in trade trouble if he doesn’t come to life in the next couple of weeks, so the return of Sam Darnold is gigantic for him.
Jets fans can only hope that the team’s 0-4 start was due to Darnold’s absence. Another big piece to hope for is a vast improvement in Gase’s offense.
The play calling looked dull-minded and conservative with Falk, and fans cannot bear to watch that for another 12 games.
The offense needs a spark, and their franchise quarterback should be able to provide one.