New York Jets head coach Adam Gase announced on Thursday that starting quarterback Sam Darnold will miss Monday night’s Week 2 matchup against the Cleveland Browns after he contracted mononucleosis.
Trevor Siemian will take over under center while Darnold recovers. There is no timetable for the starter’s return, but it could be a multi-week ordeal.
Siemian, 27, spent the last three seasons with the Denver Broncos and started 24 of the last 25 games he appeared in from 2017-2018. He completed 59.3-percent of his passes during that stretch for 5,686 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions.
He’ll take over for a Jets offense that stalled for a majority of their season opener last week in a 17-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills. With Darnold at the helm, the Jets offense could only muster eight points and 223 total yards against an underrated Bills defense.
The second-year quarterback and face of the franchise experienced his fair share of struggles throughout the afternoon, completing 28-of-41 passes for 175 yards and one touchdown.
That lone scoring play was to debutant running back Le’Veon Bell, who had a strong showing of his own despite the loss. The former Steeler recorded 92 total yards, looking very much like the potent dual-threat back he’s been advertised to be over the years.
Most of the offensive load would be expected to fall on his shoulders with Darnold out for Monday night, but his status is currently up in the air as well.
The 27-year-old was held out of practice on Thursday due to shoulder soreness and will undergo an MRI.
His absence would make a Week 2 win that much more difficult as it would put the Jets down their top-two playmakers against a mediocre Browns defense.
Despite the lopsided 43-13 scoreline against the Tennessee Titans, the Browns defense limited Marcus Mariota to 216 passing yards — although he threw for three touchdowns. The Titans rushing game, however, was able to put up 123 yards on the day.