NY Jets: Teammates’ injury issues could ruin Sam Darnold’s career

NY Jets (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets are risking Sam Darnold’s future as a result of the roster’s many injuries.

The NY Jets have fell victim to the injury bug early in the 2020 season. After already losing star running back Le’Veon Bell for at least three weeks to a hamstring injury, the Jets will not also be without Jamison Crowder for Week 2, and possibly longer.

In a make-or-break year, Sam Darnold could be in big trouble if this trend continues.

After this season, the Jets must decide if they want to pick up the fifth-year option of Darnold’s rookie contract. Unfortunately for Darnold, that would not be a cheap decision for the Jets.

And if his first offseason showed us anything, it’s that general manager Joe Douglas doesn’t like to throw money around. To add on to what’s an already worrisome situation for Darnold, the quarterback prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft are loaded.

The class is led by Trevor Lawrence, who is what many believe to be the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. If the Jets end up in a situation where they can land Lawrence, it would be extremely hard to pass him up.

If Darnold’s Week 1 performance resembled anything close to what his third year will look like, it’s hard to imagine him returning for a starting job next season.

Douglas has praised Darnold countless times, but at the end of the day, he did not draft Darnold and he simply has not shown enough where you can be more confident in him than a player like Lawrence.

Granted, it’s hard to argue that Darnold isn’t in the worst situation in football.

His head coach is horrific, he hasn’t had strong offensive line play at any point in his career so far, and his two outside receivers in his third year are currently Breshad Perriman and Chris Hogan.

That’s ugly.

The Jets are hopeful rookie Denzel Mims can be a key contributor and provide some much-needed help for Darnold, although he won’t be participating in his first NFL game until Week 5 at the earliest. As if the situation could’ve gotten any worse for Darnold.

The NY Jets are eventually going to run out of excuses for Sam Darnold.

Darnold is in a horrid situation. There’s no denying that. Eventually, however, the Jets need to stop making excuses.

Darnold has not fulfilled the expectations that were presented to him when the Jets traded up to get him in the 2018 NFL Draft. His mechanics have regressed, his consistency is nowhere to be found and his decision making can be head-scratching at times.

If the Jets don’t get healthy fast, Darnold’s career with the Jets could be in danger. It’s hard to succeed with the supporting cast Darnold is playing with right now, but time is running out for him and he needs to find ways to win games and play better.

Otherwise, that fifth-year option may not head in Darnold’s direction.

Douglas may have an opportunity to upgrade the quarterback position if the Jets continue to trot out this depleted roster and inevitably lose games.

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And it’s hard to imagine Douglas not taking that opportunity if it presents itself.