Sam Darnold will sit out when the Jets play the Bills on Sunday thanks to a foot injury, and some time on the bench might be exactly what the kid needs right now.
It’s been a tough rookie season for Sam Darnold, to say the least.
His New York Jets are a disappointing 3-6 after nine games, and Darnold has been slumping pretty hard for a few weeks now. He’s coming off of his worst game of the year; a 13-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins in which Darnold threw four interceptions.
To make matters even worse for the 21-year-old, he suffered an injury in that game as well. According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Darnold has been diagnosed with a significant foot sprain, and that will keep him out of action when the Jets take on the Buffalo Bills this Sunday.
Of course, injuries are never a fun thing to deal with, and you never want to see anybody get hurt. But it could be a blessing in disguise for Darnold. After a brutal first half of the season, a week or two (or maybe more) on the bench to clear his head and recuperate mentally might just be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Darnold is a 21-year-old kid who has been heaped with the burden of being the savior of the New York Jets franchise, which is why they selected him with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. They then made the bold decision to throw their prize rookie right into the fire in Week 1, rather than giving him a season on the sidelines to grow accustomed to the NFL — something that has worked extremely well for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The harsh realities of carrying this burden, and of possibly being named the Jets’ starting quarterback a little too soon, have hit Darnold very hard this year. In their three-game losing streak, the Jets have scored just 17, 10 and six points respectively. In those games, Darnold has thrown just two touchdowns and seven interceptions.
After their game against Buffalo, the Jets are then on their bye week in Week 11. That will give Darnold at least two weeks to get his head straight. If he’s cleared to play again in Week 12, he’ll be facing the toughest of all tasks: contending with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
That’s definitely something Darnold shouldn’t take too lightly, and these next two weeks of rest should be very beneficial to the youngster. He might get even more time off than that, but at the very least, his mind and body should be rested and fresh when he meets the Patriots for the first time in his career.
The Jets won’t be competing for a playoff spot this year, and Darnold’s health is more important than anything else surrounding this team right now.