The New York Jets will be without their star quarterback Sam Darnold for this coming week’s Monday Night Football game. Darnold was recently reported as having a case of mononucleosis which will keep him sidelined for the game versus Cleveland.
That mean’s the Jets will need to rely on another quarterback to guide the offense on Monday. So who is Sam Darnold’s backup going to be?
How long is Sam Darnold out for?
So far, Darnold is out for at least the upcoming game against the Cleveland Browns. However, ESPN reported that Darnold is out “indefinitely.” He could miss several weeks due to the mononucleosis, which was a surprise for fans and sports analysts. ESPN mentions “the earliest likely return is Week 5” for Darnold when the Jets take on the Eagles.
Reportedly, Darnold suspected something was up with his health when he lost five pounds of weight over a “couple days.” Once the team learned of the mono diagnosis, they had meals delivered to his home to keep him away from the team facility and the risk of infecting others.
The common symptoms for mononucleosis include extreme fatigue and weight loss. It’s also been known to take several months for people to recover from the illness. Darnold initially missed Wednesday’s practice due to what the team told the media was “strep throat.”
Jets head coach Adam Gase spoke about the situation with Darnold at a recent Jets press conference (below).
In addition to Darnold’s absence, New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa is going to miss the entire season. Enunwa suffered a season-ending neck injury during the past week.
Add Le’Veon Bell to the potential injured Jets list too, as he’s scheduled for an MRI today. Bell was experiencing “shoulder soreness,” but based on Gase’s comments, the team doesn’t believe it’s too severe.
Darnold’s backup is already in place
With Sam Darnold on the sidelines with mono, New York will look towards backup quarterback Trevor Siemian to run the offense. Siemian has been in the league since the 2015 season, playing three seasons for the Denver Broncos. He’s recorded 5,686 passing yards and 30 touchdowns, but also 24 interceptions in Denver.
— #TakeFlight (@nyjets) September 12, 2019
Siemian was also out for the 2018 season but should be ready to participate in the Jets’ Monday Night Football matchup.
Jets QB Sam Darnold has mononucleosis and is expected to miss multiple weeks.
Trevor Siemian will be under center when New York hosts the Browns on MNF (8:15 ET, ESPN). pic.twitter.com/O8y6rxUoBb
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 12, 2019
Darnold was the team’s first-round pick at the No. 3 slot last season. In Week 1, he tallied 175 yards and a touchdown, but his team suffered an embarrassing loss as the Bills came back to defeat them, 17-16. With Darnold expected to miss time, it has plenty of analysts and fans feeling this will hurt their season.
That game against the Cleveland Browns is scheduled for an 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time start on Monday, September 16 with the Jets hosting. Currently, Cleveland is listed as a six-point favorite to win after initially opening as 2.5-points favorites.