NFL Football Betting: Update on New York Jets Quarterback Situation

Written by:
C Costigan
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The best thing to happen to the New York Jets this week is that they’ve got a bye.  This will give their injured players—most notably starting quarterback Sam Darnold—another week of recovery time and ‘interim starter’ Luke Falk another week of practices to get comfortable with his receivers. 

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Despite the fact that the Jets are 0-3 SU/1-2 ATS there’s finally some optimism around the team as it appears that quarterback Darnold won’t be sidelined for as long as initially feared.


As we detailed when Darnold’s illness was first announced mononucleosis can be very tricky even for a healthy, well conditioned pro athlete.  The illness itself causes some significant problems—sore throat, aches and pains, fatigue, weight loss—but often the ‘post illness’ symptoms are just as bad.  These include continued fatigue and more problematically swollen organs, particularly the spleen.  That is particularly dangerous for a NFL quarterback and something the Jets have been monitored since Darnold was first sidelined.

The hope now is that Darnold will be able to return for the Jets’ Week 5 game at Philadelphia.  He’s planning to start light cardio this week though he’s yet to receive medical clearance for a full return to physical activity.  Darnold has experienced some swelling of the spleen and that would definitely have to return to normal before he’d be cleared to play.  His last test indicated that the swelling had decreased somewhat but still not enough for a return to action. As far as the ‘primary symptoms’, Darnold appears to have dodged the worst of it and by all accounts appears to be ‘on the mend’.

The assumption is that he’s not experiencing excessive fatigue beyond what you’d expect from someone that has been sick.  Then again, he’s likely putting himself under a lot of pressure to get back in the lineup given the loss of backup Trevor Siemian for the season.  Once Darnold is cleared to return to practice we’ll keep a close eye on him to monitor for any fatigue or weakness issues.  It’s doubtful that he’ll be telling anyone unless they’re really bad.  Right now, the working plan is for Darnold to undergo some follow up tests next week to assess the status of his condition, particularly his swollen spleen and other organs.  If Darnold can’t return for Week 5, it’ll be Luke Falk back under center.  The next opportunity for Darnold to return would be home against Dallas on October 13.

Darnold did participate in a conference call with the media on Monday and he voiced enthusiasm that the Jets will ‘go on a little run’ when he returns:

“We’re going to go on a little run here. It’s going to be fun, but it’s going to take a lot of work. I know a lot of the guys on the team are willing to put in that work.”


The quarterback position is not the only place where the Jets are experiencing injury issues.  They’ll be getting linebacker Brandon Copeland and tight end Chris Herndon back from suspension in Week 5.  DL Nathan Shepherd is serving a 6 game suspension for PED use and he’ll be eligible to return in Week 8 at Jacksonville.

Along with Darnold, the Jets are hoping to get several other key contributors back for the Week 5 games against Philadelphia.  Quinnen Williams is ‘trending in the right direction’ for a Week 5 return from a ankle injury suffered in the opening game against Buffalo.  Ditto linebacker CJ Mosley, who suffered a groin injury in the same game.  Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has been sidelined with a knee/hamstring injury but is also ‘trending in the right direction’ for a return against the Eagles.  All three of the previously mentioned players are listed as ‘questionable’ along with LB Jordan Jenkins and DE John Franklin-Meyers.


Injuries notwithstanding, the Jets’ biggest problem to this point of the season has been horrible offensive line play.  New York has allowed 13 sacks this season, tying them for third in the league.  The poor line play has also hurt the overall productivity of the offense which is currently dead last in total offense putting up 196.7 yards per game.  They’re also dead last in passing offense (131 YPG) and #28 in rushing offense (65.7 YPG).  The only team that is scoring fewer points per game than the Jets’ 11 PPG is the hapless Miami Dolphins at 5.3 PPG.

What’s most troubling about the Jets’ offensive line woes is that it isn’t due to injuries.  That has put OL coach Frank Pollack under a lot of pressure but based on media comments isn’t exactly sure what the problem is. Much of OL play is communication, chemistry and teamwork so that means that making lineup changes could potentially cause more problems than they solve.  Since the starting five offensive linemen didn’t play a single snap together in the preseason it’s no surprise that they’re not on the same page.

Center Ryan Kalil returned a week into training camp after reversing his decision to retire.  He’s had trouble getting back in game shape and otherwise returning to top competitive form.  There’s also been the expected cohesion issues trying to protect three different quarterbacks in three games.  Assuming that Pollack can improve the line play that could dramatically improve all phases of the Jets’ offense.

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