New York Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold is set to miss his second straight game, leading to another Josh McCown takeover.
Darnold, 21, returned to the practice field this week, donning a practice jersey and helmet for each of the Jets’ practices open to the media, but did not actively partake in any, serving as an observer to Josh McCown and Davis Webb’s practice drills.
Darnold is still recovering from a foot injury sustained in a Nov. 4 game against the Miami Dolphins, one that caused him to miss the ensuing week’s home loss to the Buffalo Bills. In the week leading up to the Buffalo game, Darnold’s right foot was adorned by a medical boot, but it was gone by the time he left MetLife Stadium after the contest.
It was assumed the Jets’ Week 11 bye afford him enough time to be ready for New England, but this doesn’t appear to be the case.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Darnold was in good spirits when talking about his health.
“Every single day I feel like I’m progressing so much more and doing so much more in terms of running,” he said. “Hopefully, I can do a little bit more tomorrow and see where we go from there.”
With Darnold out, McCown will start his second straight game, with Webb backing him up. Though McCown struggled against the Bills (17-for-34, 135 yards, 2 interceptions in a 41-10 loss), he posted solid numbers against New England last season, throwing for a season-high 354 yards in the East Rutherford portion of the annual AFC East doubleheader.
Webb, the former New York Giant promoted from the practice squad earlier this month, will back him up once more.
The Patriots, pacing the AFC East with a 7-3 mark, are dealing with some quarterback issues of their own heading into Sunday. Quarterback Tom Brady was marked as limited for Wednesday’s practice, and was not present for the open portion of Friday’s preparation, per Patriots Wire’s Henry McKenna. New England did not practice on Thursday, though Brady was again listed as limited on a league-mandated injury report.
Brady has started the last 18 regular-season meetings against the Jets (3-7) since missing the 2008 series with an injury, giving way to Matt Cassel. Veteran Brian Hoyer serves as New England’s primary backup, while seventh-round rookie Danny Etling resides on the practice squad.