Jets never considered sitting Sam Darnold and would have started him vs. Bills if not for injury

Struggling Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold will miss his first start today due to a foot injury, but if healthy he absolutely would have remained under center despite his recent travails.

While some opined about the need for Darnold to perhaps get a mental breather after an ugly, four-interception performance in a close loss to the Dolphins in Week 9, the Jets brass was never of that mindset, sources said, and expect that Darnold will be back under center in Week 12 (the Jets have a Week 11 bye). The team is committed to Darnold's development above all else and believes he will best learn from his recent woes by playing through the adversity and getting better for it.

They never considered giving him a respite through the bye, I'm told, though they are not unaware of the fact that sticking with him may cost them a few games in the meantime. They understand the frustrations of their defense – which is playing well enough to beat most teams most weeks, and which knows that with veteran Josh McCown at quarterback they might be flirting with a playoff spot rather than sitting at 3-6.

However, this team is also not constructed to win big in the playoffs right now. Cultivating a franchise quarterback is the only way to eventually get there, and the franchise is adamant, with around $100M in cap space and an owner ready to spend, about being ready to take a major leap forward in 2019. They want Darnold to have as many starts under his belt as possible leading up to that, and to be already well on his way, getting rookie mistakes out of his system now.

Barring any further injuries, McCown's stint as starter will be very limited.  

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Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday... Full Bio

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