New York Jets sunk with Sam Darnold going the shelf with mono
The New York Jets blew a 16-point, second-half lead at home to the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. There was hope the loss would be the low point of a promising season for Gang Green.
Turns out rock bottom was around the corner.
On Thursday, New York Jets head coach Adam Gase stunned local media at his press conference, announcing starting quarterback Sam Darnold has mono and is out for at least Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Darnold could be out additional weeks as well. In his place will be Trevor Siemian, who is on his third team in three seasons after stints with the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings.
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With Darnold out, New York is facing a crucial game against the Browns. Unfortunately for the Jets, the game is equally critical for the more-talented Browns, who were pasted 43-13 by the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. Should New York lose in primetime, the following four games are a trip to face the New England Patriots, a BYE, a visit for the Philadelphia Eagles, then home to the Dallas Cowboys and Patriots. If Darnold plays in all those games, the Jets are underdogs. If he doesn’t, they face the likelihood of losing all without much fight, falling to 0-6.
This season was supposed to be one of hope and intrigue for New York. With the Giants looking like a bottom-five team in the league the Jets had an opportunity to get Gotham behind them while making a run towards their first playoff appearance in a decade. Now, only one game into the season, they appear dead on arrival, with Darnold nursing one of the rarest of injury conditions.
Siemian at least has starting experience from his time in Denver, but realistically, what can be expected of the former seventh-round pick from Northwestern? The New York Jets surrounded the quarterback position with weapons this offseason including receiver Jamison Crowder and running back Le’Veon Bell, but Siemian is limited in his capabilities. It seems obvious teams will key on short throws and stack the box against Bell, forcing Siemian to push the ball downfield.
After an offseason full of potential, it appears the Jets are once again doomed to watch as other teams are runs toward the postseason. The hope must be Darnold returns quickly and pull off a few upsets. Otherwise, the season is over one week after starting for New York.