FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Sam Darnold appears headed for the sideline this week — and maybe longer.
The New York Jets rookie quarterback was surprisingly wearing a boot on his right foot at the start of practice Wednesday, leaving his status for the team’s game Sunday against Buffalo in doubt.
The New York Daily News first reported that Darnold is dealing with a sprained foot and will miss the game.
Coach Todd Bowles is scheduled to meet with the media after practice.
Darnold was injured during the Jets’ 13-6 loss at Miami last Sunday, possibly on a fourth-quarter sack by Cameron Wake in which the quarterback came up limping. He finished the game, though, and said he was “a little dinged up,” but didn’t indicate he had any serious issues.
“Yeah, I feel fine,” Darnold said Monday. “Some bumps and some bruises, but everything is good.”
Bowles said Monday that Darnold had not expressed to him that he was “dinged up.” Bowles typically speaks to the team’s trainers later in the afternoon on the day after games.
“I didn’t know he was dinged at the time, but the injury report will be out Wednesday,” Bowles said. “I’ll have a better update then when I go down there.”
If Darnold is unable to start, 39-year-old backup Josh McCown would take his place. McCown was the starter last season, but hasn’t taken a snap this year as Darnold won the job out of training camp — beating out both McCown and Teddy Bridgewater.
At practice Wednesday, Darnold watched in sweats and a green Jets cap as McCown and Davis Webb, currently on the practice squad, threw passes in individual drills.
Darnold has struggled mightily during the Jets’ three-game losing streak, and he leads the NFL with 14 interceptions.
The No. 3 overall draft pick in April has thrown for 1,934 yards and 11 touchdowns, but his 55.0 percent completion rate and 68.3 quarterback rating rank at the bottom of the league. In his past three games, Darnold has thrown two TD pass and seven interceptions.
The struggles had some fans and media wondering if perhaps Darnold would benefit from sitting a game or two.
Now, it appears he and the Jets might not have a choice.
New York has its bye-week break after the game Sunday against Buffalo, and then doesn’t play again until Nov. 25, when the Jets take on New England. That could give Darnold a few weeks to rest and heal the foot without missing much time.