Sam Darnold remains optimistic that he’ll be able to play against the Cardinals despite an AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder suffered in last week’s primetime loss to the Broncos. The Jets third-year quarterback was forced to briefly leave Gang Green’s latest loss after getting slammed to the turf on a sack on the second drive of the game.
Although Darnold returned and finished the game, he was in plenty of pain the next day. The third-year signal caller said Monday that his shoulder “keeps getting better every day,” but was noncommittal about his availability for practice on Wednesday.
“I don’t know,” Darnold said. “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.”
It would be foolish to play Darnold, who has struggled in the first month of the season, if he is experiencing significant discomfort. If also doesn’t make much sense to play him if he can’t practice this week. Veteran Joe Flacco would be in line to face Arizona if Darnold can’t go.
Although Darnold said that he didn’t miss time in high school after suffering a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder, an injury to his throwing shoulder obviously should be handled much more carefully.
“It really does depend on what the doctors say and what they think can happen in the future in terms of further injury,” Darnold said. "Or if this can have a lingering effect if I do hurt it more. So, there’s still some discussion that needs to be had there… The most important thing for me is going out there if I can. If I’m able to play and I don’t play, that’s worse than anything in my opinion.”
The Jets, frankly, must protect Darnold, who has missed three games in each of his first two seasons due to injury and illness, from himself.
“Your best ability as a quarterback is your availability,” Darnold said. “I always want to do everything I can to not miss any games.”
Running back Kalen Ballage was cut and quarterback Mike White was signed to the practice squad.
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