Sam Darnold finally showed some life in the New York Jets' last outing, notably scrambling for a 46-yard touchdown Thursday before the team suffered its fourth straight defeat to open the 2020 season. Now, however, the quarterback could be sidelined for his next start. Darnold is optimistic he'll suit up against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday despite sustaining an AC joint sprain against the Denver Broncos, according to the New York Daily News, but the Jets are instead planning to roll with backup Joe Flacco in Week 5.
"As of now, (the) Jets are not planning to play Sam Darnold," Manish Mehta reported Tuesday. "He wants to play -- and maybe could -- but there's sentiment in (the) organization that it would be reckless. Smarter to give him more time to rest/heal."
Darnold, who briefly left Week 4 but returned to finish the game, told reporters Monday that his shoulder is "getting better every day" but did not commit to practicing Wednesday.
"I don't know," Darnold said, per Mehta. "I think that's just going to be a day-to-day decision right now. It's not something I've decided, and I think it's definitely going to depend on how I feel that day."
Hence the Jets' apparent desire to keep him out of harm's way in Week 5.
Regardless of whether Darnold is available, New York appears to be in dire straits at QB. The former first-round pick has struggled mightily in his third NFL season, and further injury to his shoulder would exacerbate an already-abysmal 0-4 start to the season. The 35-year-old Flacco, meanwhile, spent most of the offseason sidelined while recovering from neck surgery. Cleared just before the start of the season, the former longtime Baltimore Ravens stalwart hasn't been particularly inspiring as a starter in recent years, either, failing to eclipse an 85 passer rating in each of the last five years.