Sam Darnold will miss multiple games after being diagnosed with mono, and the New York Jets may now be forced to look for some immediate help behind center.
On Thursday, Jets coach Adam Gase announced that Darnold would be out for Monday night's game against the Cleveland Browns, and reports indicate that it could be much longer than just the one week. ESPN's Ed Werder noted on Twitter that the second-year quarterback had been alarmed that he had been losing weight, and team doctors recently diagnosed him with mono. It is not clear yet how long Darnold will be out as he recovers from the ailment, but Gase said that he hopes the quarterback would be able to return after the team's Week 4 bye.
That means that the Jets will need to find help in filling out the roster behind Darnold. The team chose to keep only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster going into the season, Darnold and backup Trevor Siemian. While the journeyman Siemian is expected to start while Darnold is recovering, the Jets will now have to look to free agency to find a backup. As The Inquisitr noted, the sudden retirement of Andrew Luck also thinned out the quarterback heap, leading the Colts to sign Brian Hoyer to back up starter Jacoby Brissett.
The team could bring back one of the two quarterbacks on its roster from this preseason, Luke Falk and Davis Webb. The Jets could also opt for one of the available free agent quarterbacks or seek one through trade. However, it is not likely that the team will spend much capital on a quarterback given that Darnold will assume the starting role once he is healthy and Trevor Siemian is cemented in the backup role. If Gase intends to stick with keeping only two quarterbacks on the roster, then the temporary backup would be gone once Darnold returns.
The diagnosis could explain Sam Darnold's lackluster performance in a Week 1 loss to the Bills in which the Jets squandered a 16-0 third-quarter lead. Darnold struggled throughout the game, finishing 28-of-41 for 175 yards with one touchdown. The touchdown was the only score the Jets offense managed in the game, and afterward Darnold put the blame on himself.
"When our defense plays like that, you have to win the game," Darnold said, via the New York Jets official website. "When they force four turnovers and we're not turning the ball over on offense, we have to come away with points."The New York Jets will now try to dig out of an 0-1 hole without the franchise quarterback and a clear timeline on when Sam Darnold will return.