NY Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold is set to return in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins.
Darnold returned to practice on Wednesday in a limited fashion after missing the previous three weeks with a shoulder injury. The hope was that he would continue to progress ahead of this Sunday’s Week 12 meeting with the Miami Dolphins.
And that’s exactly what happened.
Darnold was upgraded to a full participant in Thursday’s practice and on Friday, head coach Adam Gase officially announced that he would start on Sunday marking his return to the gridiron.
The 23-year-old has been sidelined since Week 8 when he reaggravated a previously-injured shoulder in the fourth quarter of the Jets’ 35-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
As a result, he was forced to miss the Jets’ last two games — two close losses at the hands of the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers.
Darnold originally injured his shoulder back in the first quarter of the Jets’ Week 4 loss to the Denver Broncos. A first-quarter sack saw Darnold land hard on his throwing shoulder and while he was allowed to finish the game, perhaps that was the wrong decision in hindsight.
The former No. 3 overall pick would miss Weeks 5 and 6 before returning to take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 7. Veteran Joe Flacco has started four of the Jets’ last six games in Darnold’s absence.
The NY Jets could benefit from Sam Darnold’s return
Both Darnold and the Jets could benefit from his return to the gridiron. While it might be a little late for him to salvage his Jets career, this final six-game stretch could serve as an audition for prospective trade partners.
Fortunately, Darnold will take the field with his starting trio of wide receivers for the first time this season. All three of Denzel Mims, Breshad Perriman, and Jamison Crowder will be healthy and ready to play on Sunday.
It may almost be December, but better late than never.
It’s been a difficult season for Darnold, but he’ll be looking to silence his doubters and impress for whatever team he’s playing for next year.
This isn’t the way many saw the Jets season going, but at least they’ll have Sam Darnold back in Week 12.