Sunday will be the thirty-seventh NFL regular season game that Sam Darnold will be on the roster of the New York Jets. He will have played in only 30 games as of this weekend.
Darnold is injured again, this time a shoulder injury suffered in the Jets Week 4 loss to the Denver Broncos. Darnold has missed three games in each of his first two seasons, last year of course being memorable after a diagnosis of mononucleosis.
As such, there is a concern about not just his durability but how missing seven games through his first three seasons in the league can hurt his development.
“I’m looking at it right now as hopefully he gets better quickly and he doesn’t miss too much time,” Jets head coach Adam Gase said on Wednesday in his virtual press conference.
“I think it’s a different situation than last year for sure where he was out of the building, he couldn’t be around anybody for I think it was like 10 days or something like that. Here, he’s in the meetings today, he’s going to be able to go and practice and be around, be locked in in that way.”
Last week in the Jets 37-28 loss to the Broncos, Darnold came back in after missing four offensive plays to resume the game. He finished 23-of-42 for 230 yards with a rushing touchdown.
The touchdown, a 46-yard run, came on the Jets first drive before the injury.
The shoulder injury came on the Jets second offensive series when Broncos linebacker A.J. Johnson sacked Darnold, throwing him to the turf in the process. Joe Flacco substituted in while Darnold was being examined in the locker room and then warmed up again on the sidelines.
Darnold re-entered the game and finished, later being diagnosed with an AC joint sprain.
“During the course of the game you got adrenaline running through your body and for me especially, once I already start playing the game, I want nothing more to finish,” Darnold said.
“So it’s like when I go out there and you know get the juices flowing a little bit and yeah I got hurt and did it hurt, yeah, but it’s, for me, I just wanted to go out there and the doctor said I can play if I was able to and I felt like I was good enough to throw a football and sure enough I finished. The next day and even the day after, yesterday, on Tuesday, it was rough. I’m trying to get better, I really am just taking this one day at a time, just seeing where we go from here.”