Sam Darnold missed Wednesday's practice with a strained right foot, and while head coach Todd Bowles hasn't officially ruled his starting quarterback out for Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium against the Bills, he will be, according to The New York Daily News.
The 21-year-old rookie did not dress for practice and was wearing a walking boot.
Darnold said after Sunday's 13-6 loss in Miami he "got a little dinged up," but on his Monday conference call, he said he just had some bumps and bruises. Bowles said he was unaware of Darnold's injury on his Monday call, but then said Wednesday he learned of the strain later that day after some tests were run.
Either way, it might be good for Darnold to hold a clipboard at least one week and watch old man Josh McCown show him how it's done.
The 39-year-old McCown is no great shakes. He's the definition of a journeyman, having played in a regular season game for eight teams, and going only 23-50 as a starter.
But, right now, he's a better quarterback than Darnold.
McCown had a career year last season, throwing a career-high 18 touchdown passes, with nine interceptions and four lost fumbles in 13 games before he had his hand broken in Denver. The Jets were 5-8 in games he started, and lost all three to end the season with Bryce Petty under center.
In nine starts this season, Darnold has turned the ball over 15 times, including a league-high 14 interceptions (four more than anyone else). He was on track to at least threaten Peyton Manning's rookie record of 28 picks for a season.
Clearly the eye is on the future. The 2018 Jets (3-6) are going nowhere.
But Bowles could benefit from a few more wins should Darnold be out an extended period of time.
Other than two games against the Bills (2-7), the Jets have a difficult last seven games, with two against the Patriots (7-2), a game in Nashville against the Titans (4-4) and home games against the Texans (6-3) and Packers (3-4-1).
The Jets are likely going to be underdogs against everyone except the Bills, regardless of who plays quarterback. But, in last year's home game against the Patriots, McCown at least had the Jets leading 14-0 in the first quarter before they lost, 24-17.
Not sure Darnold could even do that right now.
Bowles is likely a goner after the season, anyway, but McCown winning both Bills games, and maybe one more, should keep him here through the end of the year.
When asked if he was worried McCown would be rusty after not taking a snap in the regular season and playing sparingly in the preseason, Bowles said: "I'm not concerned. He practices everyday, takes reps all the time. He's a true professional, and I think he'll be ready."