Sam Darnold'srecent case of mono will keep him out of the New York Jets' matchup against the visiting Cleveland Browns on "Monday Night Football." That's what we know. We also know that, based on Jets head coach Adam Gase's comments Friday, New York's franchise quarterback is also not a candidate for injured reserve, per Brian Costello of the New York Post.
While he didn't offer a timetable on Darnold's return to the team, Gase ruled out a possible injured reserve scenario for Darnold. This is a positive sign for Jets fans that are looking or any reason to be positive following New York's shaky start to the 2019 season.
The Jets lost starting inside linebacker Avery Williamson for the season after he sustained a torn ACL during the preseason. New York then squandered a 16-point lead in losing to the Buffalo Bills by a point in Week 1. Just days following the loss to Buffalo came the news of Darnold's mono, which will likely keep Darnold out of the lineup for Jets' next two games, if not longer.
News then broke Thursday that running back Le'Veon Bell was going to receive an MRI on his shoulder. Bell, who tallied 93 all-purpose yards and a score on 23 touches in Sunday's loss, calmed the waters when he announced Thursday night that his MRI revealed no damage to his shoulder. Bell also assured Jets fans that he plans to be on the field on Monday night.
Joining Bell in the backfield will be new Jets starting quarterback Trevor Siemian, who will be New York's starting quarterback until Darnold returns. A backup quarterback during his rookie season in Denver, Siemian compiled a 13-11 record as the Broncos' starting quarterback during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. During that time, the 27-year-old signal-caller completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 5,686 yards with 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.
Health and consistency were the two main things that held Siemian from having more success during his first go-around as an NFL starting quarterback. While he showed glimpses of his potential (he threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Cincinnati in his third career start), Siemian struggled to consistently perform at the level of a starting NFL quarterback. Two shoulder injuries, including one that ended his 2017 season prematurely, also hindered his development in Denver.
Siemian will now get another chance in New York for a team that is trying to post its first winning season since 2015. And while he Siemian isn't expected to perform at Darnold's level, Gase said that the Jets' game plan won't change despite the switch at the quarterback position.
"We signed Trevor specifically for his 24 starts over his career with a winning record," Gase said on Thursday, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. "He has a lot of experience. He's been on winning ball clubs. He has the respect of the locker room. The reaction I got and the way that guys looked at it was, 'Let's go.' There's confidence there."
News of Darnold's absence caused a massive shift in the point spread for Monday night's game. The Browns are now 6.5-point favorites -- on the road.