Sam Darnold Out Vs Cardinals; Joe Flacco to Start

Just shy of a week following a sprained right shoulder, the New York Jets announced Sam Darnold will be out on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. 

Instead, veteran quarterback Joe Flacco will get the start.

Darnold is considered week-to-week after getting slammed into the ground by Denver Broncos linebacker Alexander Johnson near the end of the first quarter. Despite the injury, Darnold returned to the game after being briefly replaced by Flacco for a series. 

Many questioned whether Darnold should have continued playing after getting an X-ray in the locker room.

“The [doctors] thought that was the right thing to do,” Gase said, per ESPN reporter Rich Cimini. “He wanted to go back in. We knew what it was. Obviously, after the game, the next day, he was a lot more sore than he was in real time.”

He finished the game 23 of 42 for 230 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions while being sacked six times in the 37-28 loss to Denver. 

In his short stint on the field, Flacco went 2-2 for 16 yards. It was the first game with the Jets that Flacco was upgraded to quarterback No. 2 after missing the first few games recovering from neck surgery. 

Instead of waiting for the end of the week, the Jets made the announcement Flacco would start on Wednesday, giving him more reps in practice. 

As for Darnold, “He’s in a lot of pain,” per Gase. “That’s what it is. He can raise his arm to a certain degree, but to go out and practice, it would be very difficult for him right now.”

The Jets, who remain winless at 0-4, are 0-6 over the past three seasons and averaging 10.9 fewer points per game when Darnold doesn’t start. Darnold missed three games in his rookie season with a sprained foot and three more games in 2019 while he was recovering from mononucleosis.

Flacco, 35, a former Super Bowl MVP for the Baltimore Ravens, will make his first start since Oct. 27, 2019, when he started for the Broncos in a game where he would sustain a neck injury and not play the remainder of the season. 

Gase said Flacco is calm and still has his arm strength. 

“Joe seems like he’s going to be fine. It’s more about working with the guys he’s going to play with on Sunday and just getting into some kind of rhythm,” Gase said.

In a season that has been plagued with injuries across the NFL, the Jets will likely be without rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton (shoulder) and wide receivers Denzel Mims (hamstring) and Breshad Perriman (ankle).

(Photo: N.Y. Post/Charles Wenzelberg and Corey Sipkin)

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