Jets' QB Sam Darnold out with mono, could miss weeks

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is sick and sidelined - likely for several weeks.

News 12 Staff

Sep 12, 2019, 3:16 PM

Updated 1,712 days ago

Share:

By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Sam Darnold is sick and sidelined - likely for several weeks.
New York Jets coach Adam Gase announced Thursday the second-year quarterback has mononucleosis and will miss at least the team's game against the Cleveland Browns on Monday night.
Trevor Siemian will start in Darnold's place, and could be the starter moving forward until Darnold recovers. The Jets have a game at New England in Week 3 before they have a bye-week break, and then games at Philadelphia, at home against Dallas and New England before a road game at Jacksonville on Oct. 27 to cap a rough opening stretch.
When a reporter pointed out that mono usually take several weeks from which to heal, Gase nodded.
"Oh, I'm aware," Gase said. "Good thing we've got the early bye week."
Darnold was sent home by the team Wednesday with what Gase said was "strep throat or something." Team doctors later told Gase that antibiotics weren't working as quickly as expected, leading to the diagnosis.
"He's going through some of these tests to kind of see where he's at with all this," Gase said. "I know he's out this week. Then, past that, I'll have more information as we go."
Gase said he, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and athletic trainer Dave Zuffelato went to Darnold's home to deliver the news to the quarterback and he took it "not well," according to the coach.
"He wasn't real happy about it," Gase said. "All three of us went over there and he knew something was up when Dowell and myself showed up. I just wanted to make sure it was delivered right, and I figured I could be the bearer of bad news on this one."
The coach says Darnold's biggest concern is weight loss. Gase adds Darnold has already lost about 5 pounds.
"That was something that was alarming to him, that he lost weight already in the last couple of days," Gase said. "He can't be in the building right now, so he's like, 'I need to get meals over here, I need to make sure that I'm getting enough of what I need to keep my weight.' I mean, he went right into, all right, how do I maintain?"
Gase said Luke Falk will be promoted from the practice squad to serve as Siemian's backup. The Jets could also look to sign an experienced quarterback for depth.
But, for now - and probably the next handful of games - it will be Siemian leading New York's offense.
Siemian was signed as a free agent in the offseason after spending last season with Minnesota. The 27-year-old quarterback played in Denver his first three NFL seasons, and is 13-11 as a starter. He has thrown 5,686 yards and 30 touchdowns with 24 interceptions.
"I feel pretty comfortable with what we're doing," Siemian said. "Excited to compete, for sure."
Gase said the Jets' approach on offense won't change much with Siemian taking over for Darnold.
"That's why Trevor's here," the coach said. "We signed Trevor specifically because he has 24 starts over his career with a winning record, has a lot of experience, has been on winning ballclubs. He has the respect of the locker room.
"I think the reaction I got and the way that guys looked, it was like: 'Let's go.' There was confidence there."
The injury news wasn't limited to Darnold.
Nearly overshadowed in the stunning news about the quarterback was Gase announcing that running back Le'Veon Bell would be among the players sitting out of practice because of a sore shoulder.
Bell was solid in his Jets debut last Sunday, his first game in nearly 20 months after sitting out in a contract dispute with Pittsburgh. ESPN reported that an MRI revealed no damage to Bell's shoulder, and he is likely to play against the Browns.
"I'm waiting to find out the extent of this," Gase said earlier in the day. "This could be just soreness. We don't think it's anything worse than that, but we're just kind of probably being a little extra cautious."
Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas also sat out after joining the team Wednesday following a trade from New England. The Jets are hoping Thomas will be able to practice Saturday.
"He's had a hamstring (ailment) for a while," Gase said. "We knew that. He's close."
When asked if Thomas would have to practice Saturday to be able to play Monday night, Gase smiled.
"That's not true," he said. "We're running out of bodies."
Linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (ankle) remained sidelined, and left tackle Kelvin Beachum (ankle) and defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers (foot) sat out Thursday. One piece of good news for the Jets: safety Jamal Adams was back on a limited basis after sitting out Wednesday with soreness in his hip and back.
Gase said the team's approach in adversity begins with him, as well as general manager Joe Douglas, owner Christopher Johnson and team president Hymie Elhai.
"What's our attitude going to be? Is it going to be woe is me? The sky is falling?" Gase said. "Or, is it, this is a challenge we're going to embrace? And, guys just getting tighter in the locker room and everybody coming together and doing their job as well as they can to help us win.
"I think we're going to look back and this is going to be a good thing for us. I think it's going to bring that locker room even tighter."
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


More from News 12
2:10
Prosecution resumes presenting its case in Sen. Menendez’s bribery trial, focusing on Egyptian halal beef deal

Prosecution resumes presenting its case in Sen. Menendez’s bribery trial, focusing on Egyptian halal beef deal

1:51
Mostly sunny skies today in New Jersey ahead of major midweek warmup

Mostly sunny skies today in New Jersey ahead of major midweek warmup

0:23
Dead dolphin washes ashore in Long Branch

Dead dolphin washes ashore in Long Branch

1:59
Route 71 bridge in Monmouth County remains closed as Memorial Day weekend approaches

Route 71 bridge in Monmouth County remains closed as Memorial Day weekend approaches

Scottie Scheffler's Louisville court date postponed after arrest during PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler's Louisville court date postponed after arrest during PGA Championship

1:19
Red Lobster seeks bankruptcy protection days after closing dozens of restaurants

Red Lobster seeks bankruptcy protection days after closing dozens of restaurants

0:32
Prosecutors: Man charged with attempted kidnapping in Garfield; victim saved by good Samaritan

Prosecutors: Man charged with attempted kidnapping in Garfield; victim saved by good Samaritan

3:37
Sources: State police search Massapequa Park home of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer

Sources: State police search Massapequa Park home of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer

0:16
Police: Driver killed in Jefferson Township car crash on Route 15

Police: Driver killed in Jefferson Township car crash on Route 15

1:41
New Jersey joins Click it or Ticket seat belt campaign. Here's what you should know.

New Jersey joins Click it or Ticket seat belt campaign. Here's what you should know.

1:56
Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with traditional Chinese dragon dance

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with traditional Chinese dragon dance

0:38
Police: Manchester Township driver ejected from motorized bike following crash into SUV

Police: Manchester Township driver ejected from motorized bike following crash into SUV

2:31
Made In New Jersey: Buy or make your own candles at Brighter Days in Marlboro

Made In New Jersey: Buy or make your own candles at Brighter Days in Marlboro

2:11
Turn to Tara: FEMA initiative aims to improve safety of seniors during natural disasters

Turn to Tara: FEMA initiative aims to improve safety of seniors during natural disasters

0:27
Pacers set NBA playoff shooting mark, top Knicks 130-109 in Game 7 to make Eastern Conference finals

Pacers set NBA playoff shooting mark, top Knicks 130-109 in Game 7 to make Eastern Conference finals

Your New Jersey Graduation Photos

Your New Jersey Graduation Photos

2:41
Lantern ceremony in Montclair honors Asian community who faced violence and injustice

Lantern ceremony in Montclair honors Asian community who faced violence and injustice

1:53
Tour de Elizabeth takes cyclists through New Jersey's fourth-largest city

Tour de Elizabeth takes cyclists through New Jersey's fourth-largest city

0:30
Coast Guard boards anchored shipping vessel in Manasquan; no violations

Coast Guard boards anchored shipping vessel in Manasquan; no violations

0:23
Police: Haddonfield man faces charges for arson, stalking and vandalism

Police: Haddonfield man faces charges for arson, stalking and vandalism