Sam Darnold will undergo tests Tuesday to determine whether he will be cleared to play this weekend, and he thinks he’s going to get a clean bill of health this time.
“I am excited to hear the news,” Darnold said during his weekly appearance on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN-Radio. “I have a feeling it’s going to be good news. I thought maybe it would come last week. I had to wait it out again. Hopefully this week it’s better news.”
Adam Gase said Darnold would start Sunday against the Cowboys if he's cleared. Otherwise, Luke Falk likely will get his third-straight start.
But everyone involved wants to know that before the Jets return to practice on Wednesday, so Sunday’s starter can work with the first team all week.
“We’ll have more information,” Gase said during a conference call Monday, “so we’ll be able to plan out our week.”
Much has been made about what happened last week and how Gase handled the quarterback situation.
Darnold went through practice Wednesday and Thursday last week and was preparing to play against the Eagles on Sunday. The Jets were so confident that Darnold would be cleared that Gase gave him all the first-team reps. But then the Jets got the word Thursday night that Darnold’s enlarged spleen hadn’t reduced to a point where it was safe for him to play.
The Jets scrambled after that to get Falk ready to play the game.
Falk got all the first-team reps on Friday, and the Jets signed David Fales to be the backup quarterback. The Eagles crushed the Jets 31-6, dropping them to 0-4.
Darnold acknowledged everyone was acting as if he would be cleared, even though he was not given any assurances.
“Most of it was assuming I was going to play,” Darnold said. “For me it’s always good to get reps as much as I can. The more I’m in there with those guys the more comfortable we get. But if we would have had a little bit more information earlier in the week, Luke would have been able to get those reps with the ones and been ready to go for the game.”
“I knew there was a chance I was going to be out,” Darnold added. “But I feel good. My energy has been awesome. I’ve been recovering. I thought I was on mend, which I am. It’s just that kind of sickness that’s unlike any other where you feel good but you might not actually be good and be ready to play a contact sport. It’s not like anything I’ve ever gone through.”
The Jets didn’t lose Sunday because of Falk’s lack of snaps with the first team. But overall as a group, they looked unprepared and Falk looked overwhelmed.
They totaled 128 yards of offense and didn’t convert their first third down until the third quarter. Falk had three turnovers — two of which were returned for touchdowns.
Gase made changes to the struggling offensive line, inserting two new starters. But things got worse. The Eagles sacked Falk nine times and Fales once.
The offensive line wasn’t solely to blame for this performance. Gase said receivers ran wrong routes, Falk held on to the ball too long a couple of times, and there were some play calls that weren’t “ideal.” Gase is the Jets’ play-caller.
“There’s nothing I looked back and said, ‘I wish I would have done this over that,’” Gase said.
It was a surprising comment considering how hapless the Jets looked offensively.
“We took our turns,” Gase said of the breakdowns on the sacks. “Whether it was the quarterback not getting the ball out on time, we busted a route, the O-line not using protection the right way. There were a couple calls where no one was open. When I say that, it’s what they ran on defense wasn’t ideal for what we called.
“It was not pretty. It was a bad performance on the offensive side.”