Winless New York Jets hope QB Sam Darnold can play, provide spark

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – Desperate for a win, the winless New York Jets are hoping quarterback Sam Darnold can return to the lineup this week and provide a much-needed spark.

On Wednesday, Darnold trained for the first time in nearly three weeks, testing his right shoulder injury with the goal of making his debut against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Darnold had to do “a little” in practice, according to coach Adam Gase, who said the third-year quarterback will compete in individual and team periods. Gase said the plan was to “eliminate unnecessary throws” during other periods of practice.

Darnold has missed two straight games, and four of the last six, with a sprained AC joint that occurred Oct. 1 against the Denver Broncos.

While Gase thinks “things are going in the right direction” for Darnold to start on Sunday, it’s important to note that there was also optimism ahead of the Week 9 game against the New England Patriots. – until Darnold retired from training three days before the match. .

At the time, Darnold said his shoulder was not feeling well, so he suspended the game, rested for the week off and began a throwing diet to rebuild his shoulder strength.

On Monday, he seemed optimistic about his progress, saying, “The shoulder feels good to throw and do whatever I have to do. At this point it’s just being hit and how it reacts. “

There is no contact in practice, so they won’t know until he plays in a game. Darnold said he would feel that well based on his shoulder’s reaction to the stress of the pitch in practice.

This is the only problem for Gase.

“I’m not worried about structural damage or anything like that. It’s just… is it going to be able to recover if it’s hit and stuck in the ground?” he said. “Is this pain going to be so much where it can’t go? It’s the last thing you want to happen – the first round of the game, which comes up and all of a sudden we now have a problem. “

Joe Flacco is 0-4 as a substitute starter with six touchdown passes and three interceptions, including a pick-6 in last week’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Jets (0-10) have had their most productive days on offense in the last two games, scoring 55 points, in part because their receiving body played together for the first time. Injuries prevented this from happening in the first eight games.

While some may think it would be safe to shut Darnold down for the remainder of the season, Gase has said he wants to see how his quarterback performs with a full supporting cast.

“It would probably be my first thing that I would like to see,” Gase said.

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