Will Jets Replace Sam Darnold With Colin Kaepernick?
Will the Jets replace Sam Darnold with Colin Kaepernick?
They just might.
Darnold, 22, has been ruled out indefinitely after being diagnosed with mononucleosis.
Jets head coach Adam Gase made the announcement on Thursday while speaking to the media.
The team will line up Trevor Siemian at quarterback against the Cleveland Browns on Monday night.
Gase indicated that the team may be without Darnold for multiple weeks.
Sam Darnold has mono and will miss Monday’s game against the Browns, per Adam Gase. pic.twitter.com/b3rUSCVFNM
— SNY (@SNYtv) September 12, 2019
That means he will also not be present for the squad’s Week 3 showdown versus the New England Patriots.
Fortunately for New York, the team’s bye week comes early in the year in Week 4.
Based on reports, it looks like the earlier the Jets can expect Darnold back is Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Darnold reportedly received news of his condition on Wednesday night when Gase, Dowell Loggains and an unnamed trainer went to go visit him at his apartment near the team facility.
“He knew something was up when Dowell and myself showed up,” the head coach said.
“I wanted to make sure [the news] was delivered myself. I figured I could be the bearer of bad news on this one.”
Darnold had reportedly lost five pounds in recent days and knew something was off with his health.
“That was something that was alarming to him, that he lost some weight already in the last couple of days,” Gase said.
The big problem with mono and playing football is that the sickness enlarges your spleen, which in turn makes you more susceptible to injury.
So what’s next for New York at quarterback in light of this news?
Well, even with Darnold, they didn’t get off to the greatest start in Week 1.
Against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets blew a 16-point lead at home in a game where Darnold passed for only 175 yards.
Siemian, who is 13-11 as a starter, was signed by New York as a free agent during the offseason.
He has not physically played in a game since 2017 with the Denver Broncos.
Last year he played for the Minnesota Vikings, but he did not see any action.
“I’ve played [in the league], so I guess there’s a sense that I’ve been there and I’ve done it a little bit,” Siemian said. “It’s been a while. I’m champing at the bit.”
Luke Falk will become the new No. 2 quarterback in the interim.
The main problem for New York right now is that even with Darnold their quarterback situation isn’t great, and now with him gone, it’s gone from bad to awful.
One name that could potentially help them a lot?
The 31-year-old has been out of the league for three years, ever since his decision to take a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in the United States.
During his final season with the San Francisco 49ers, in 2016, Kaepernick started in 11 of the 12 games he played in and put up solid production throughout.
When it was all said and done, he passed for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions.
Kaepernick did his damage that year on a 90.7 rating.
There is a reasonable case to be made that he if hadn’t been forced to sit out for three years, Kaepernick would be a better quarterback than Darnold is right now.
But since he has been forced to sit out, obviously there will be some rust there.
Still, even with the rest, he is likely a better option as backup than Siemian and is definitely a better option than Falk.
Plus, in a big city like New York, Kaepernick’s controversial political stances will likely stir up less drama than they might in a smaller city.
Will the Jets ultimately sign Kaepernick?
It remains to be seen.
It sure seems like it.