Sam Darnold Says He Doesn't Need to Practice This Week To Play Against the Arizona Cardinals

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold on injury: 'I want nothing more than just to be out there with the guys, playing football on Sunday.'
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There are no regrets for Sam Darnold as the New York Jets quarterback hopes that playing through significant shoulder pain won’t keep him off the field on Sunday.

Darnold injured his shoulder in the first quarter of last Thursday’s 37-28 loss to the Denver Broncos. While he missed a handful of plays on offense, he was back on the field quickly and didn’t show too much worse for wear. Ironically, it was the first game all season where Darnold didn’t have a turnover.

The day after the game, he was diagnosed with a sprained AC joint, an injury that could keep the 23-year old quarterback out of Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.

“I mean it really does depend kind of on what the doctors say, what they think can happen in the future in terms of further injury or if this can have a lingering effect if I do hurt it even more, so there’s still some discussions that need to be had there,” Darnold said on Monday in his virtual press conference.

“But you know again for me, the most important thing is playing football. If I can go out there and play and I’m able to go out there, and understand that there might be a potential risk, but I think the most important thing for me, it’s going out there and playing if I can because if I’m able to play and I don’t play, that’s worse than anything in my opinion.”

Darnold hasn’t practiced yet since suffering the injury but is receiving therapy and treatment for the injury.

He finished Thursday’s game 23-of-42 for 230 yards. He didn’t have a passing touchdown or, conversely, an interception. Darnold did, however, give the Jets a 7-0 lead off a 46-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

He doesn’t regret going back into the game following the first quarter injury, which happened when Broncos linebacker A.J. Johnson sacked Darnold, essentially picking him and throwing him to the turf.

As for Sunday against the Cardinals, Darnold wouldn’t rule out playing if he was unable to practice this week.

“I’m not sure, I think for me it’s wanting to play and wanting to play on Sundays is the most important thing,” Darnold said.

“Obviously, being out there at practice is also very important. So again, I’m going to go about it day-by-day, but I want nothing more than just to be out there with the guys playing football on Sunday. Obviously practicing, like I said, is a huge part of it, so we’ll see.”