Heading into Week 11, the Jets are the only winless team in the league at 0-9, and to make matters worse, Adam Gase announced Monday that Sam Darnold would be out next week.
Still, the Jets will fight to both finish the season with a game and put themselves in position for the No. 1 overall pick at the same time. Gase and Darnold spoke to reporters to discuss where their heads are at on the remainder of the season.
Here are a few takeaways from Gase and Darnold:
On Darnold's injury and status
Darnold missed Week 9's game against the Patriots, a game where Joe Flacco nearly led the Jets to victory before a late collapse.
"Sam, What we’re going to be doing with him is he’ll be on an interval throwing program, he’s not going to practice, he won’t play this game, so Joe will end up starting, that’s where we’re at with him right now," Gase said.
On Darnold possibly heading to IR
Darnold already dealt with a shoulder injury earlier this season, so the lingering problem may be more of a cause for concern than it's been seeming.
"That has not been brought up to me, we’re just taking this week-to-week right now," Gase said. "You know we’re hoping that putting him on this program with the trainers that that will help instead of him going out, trying to practice, we want to make sure he’s in a good place when the next time he steps on the field to practice."
On biggest takeaways from the bye week
"Well, I think really offensively the biggest things that we’re always going to be battling until we prove that we can beat man coverage consistently," Gase said. "I think we had some really good plays this last game, where we won one-on-one matchups and made the other side pay for it. I think defensively, we just got to continue to get better at getting people off the field. We got to get teams into third and longer and they get off the field in those situations, we got to avoid these double-digit play counts per drive.
"I think there’s a lot of little details that we can definitely clean up and I know our coaching staff’s, that’s what they spent the majority of the last week doing is making sure that we had a good plan going into this week, we explained it to the players today, we made sure that we went in detail of our expectations and what we need to work on moving forward."
On not playing due to injury
Since this is a lingering injury, it seems like the right move to keep Darnold out. Flacco stepped up last week against New England, so in the meantime, Darnold should rest and rehab as much as possible.
"I think it’s a smart decision not to play. I’ve given it thought and it’s just got to heal. It’s got to have time, and that was kind of our mindset," Darnold said.
"I mean obviously I want to play. I always want to go out there and put it on the line for my teammates and my coaches and just go out there and play football. That’s what I love to do and that’s first and foremost. Obviously as well, I’ve got to think about me. Me injuring my right shoulder, it’s definitely tough to kind of weigh all the options of what I can do. You start thinking about in terms of just longevity and how I can further injure the shoulder. So, I just think from where we’re at right now with it, it’s a good decision to be able to give it another week to heal up. So, that’s kind of where I’m at mentally right now. Like I said, obviously I want to play, but just got to weigh all the factors and after doing that, thought it was the best decision not to play this week."
On his thoughts about his future
With the Jets in line for the No. 1 pick and Trevor Lawrence potentially there for the taking, there have been more than a few rumors going around on what the team will do if they get the chance to take the Clemson product — which has put Darnold's future with the Jets up in the air.
But he says he's not worried about all that.
"I think for me I’m just going to continue to do what I need to do, first and foremost to get healthy, and then when I do play, play well. Just make sure that I’m doing everything I need to do to execute the plays that are called," Darnold said. "At the end of the day, my job as a quarterback is to move the ball down the field, take care of the football and score touchdowns. I feel like once I get back out there, I’m going to do everything I can to do that."
On seeing the core receiving group finally take the field together
The Jets waited all season to see Denzel Mims, Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder take the field together, and it finally happened last week against the Patriots.
"It was good to see those guys out there on the field doing their thing and playing well, but obviously I want to get out there with them. It was fun watching them be able to go out there and play ball and do what they love to do and score touchdowns. It was awesome to see those guys back healthy out there on the field doing what they love to do," Darnold said.