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Jets coach Adam Gase sticking with Sam Darnold amid early struggles

Ryan Young
·Writer
·2-min read

It’s been a rough start to the season for both Sam Darnold and the New York Jets, to say the least.

Not only are the Jets still looking for their first win — they’re the only team in the league that still hasn’t held a lead at any point through Week 3 — but Darnold’s performance so far hasn’t been pretty.

The third-year quarterback threw for just 168 yards and had three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, in their 36-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. He has a 28.8 quarterback rating, the third worst in the NFL, and has racked up just 562 yards, the fifth worst.

Still, Jets coach Adam Gase isn’t ready to pull the plug on Darnold just yet.

“That’s always a tough decision because he’s 23 years old and he’s in his third year,” Gase said Monday, via ESPN. “Every snap he takes in a real game, they’re so valuable. They’re learning experiences. You have to go through tough situations sometimes.

“It’s not always going to be smooth. You’re going to go through times where it’s tough on him and it’s tough when we’re trying to call plays and things aren’t going the way we want them to. But that’s what we’re having to have to go through right now.”

Sam Darnold still Jets’ best option

While it hasn’t been good, Darnold is still the Jets’ best option.

Backup Mike White has yet to take a snap in his three-year NFL career, and Joe Flacco is still recovering after undergoing neck surgery earlier this year. It’s not clear when the 35-year-old will be ready to go, as he just started practicing again last week.

Darnold can’t shoulder all of the blame for the Jets’ offensive struggles, either. The Jets were down three wide receivers on Sunday, and star running back Le’Veon Bell is still on the injured reserve list.

For now, Darnold said ahead of their Thursday night matchup with the winless Denver Broncos, he just has to keep pushing forward.

“Every situation is different,” Darnold said, via ESPN. “I’m just really focused on living in the moment right now, to be honest. We obviously had a rough stretch here with the first three games not going the way we wanted them to. I think, for me, focusing on what we have to do today is the key to everything.”

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase, right, talks to quarterback Sam Darnold.
Adam Gase isn't ready to bench Sam Darnold just yet. (AP/Corey Sipkin)

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