The New York Jets announced on Tuesday that starting quarterback Sam Darnold will start their Week 6 game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Darnold had missed the past three games due to a bout with mononucleosis, which has already put the Jets’ 2019 season in jeopardy.
Without their second-year passer in the lineup, Adam Gase’s offense has looked progressively worse over the weeks as he was forced to start third-stringer Luke Falk following a season-ending ankle injury to No. 2 quarterback Trevor Siemian.
Gase was unable to make any adjustments with Darnold out of the lineup as the Jets’ offense has put up a measly nine points in his absence. New York’s defense and special teams have combined for 14 during that span.
Darnold had a difficult debut under Gase in Week 1, completing 28-of-41 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked four times in the 17-16 loss.
While his lone game in 2019 was against an impressive Bills defense, it might be a stretch to suggest that Darnold alone can fix Gase’s offense.
The offensive line gave up an astounding 10 sacks on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles as All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell has been left on an island for a majority of his first weeks as a Jet.
Darnold at least provides a better option to get the ball out quickly to his receivers, as Demaryius Thomas and Robby Anderson have combined for just 16 receptions this season. Slot receiver Jamison Crowder picked up 14 of his 22 receptions this season in Week 1 when Darnold was under center.
New York will also be getting tight end Chris Herndon back, who was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He posted 39 receptions for 502 yards and four touchdowns during his rookie season last year.
They will be facing a Dallas Cowboys team on Sunday that will be keen on getting back into the winning column. After an easy start to their season that included comprehensive wins over the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins, they’ve dropped two straight to the Saints and Packers.
Dallas’ scoring defense and yards against is ranked seventh in the NFL while only allowing three passing touchdowns all season. Only the Patriots have allowed fewer (none).