Sam Darnold is trending towards playing against the Titans on Sunday after taking some team reps in his second consecutive practice Thursday.
The Jets rookie quarterback was listed as a limited participant again on the official team injury report, but eye witnesses told me that he looked like his typical self on the practice field Thursday.
Todd Bowles said that Darnold didn’t experience any residual soreness after practicing for the first time in three weeks on Wednesday, which certainly bodes well for his availability against the Titans. The team will monitor Darnold entering Friday’s practice, but it seems promising at this point.
“He’s been preparing the last three weeks,” offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said Thursday. “We’re excited to get him back on the practice field. He looks focused and ready to play.”
Darnold said Wednesday that he didn’t feel restricted in any way at practice. Eyewitnesses agreed with that sentiment on Thursday too.
Veteran Josh McCown was limited for a second consecutive day with back and thumb ailments. Davis Webb took scout-team reps on Thursday, according to those eyewitnesses.
“We’ll see who is the healthiest,” Bowles said about who will start in Tennessee. “All of them are taking reps right now and we’ll make that decision as the week goes.”
Bowles didn’t say that Darnold, who hasn’t played since suffering a foot strain on Nov. 4 against the Dolphins, would need to practice fully on Friday before getting the green light against the Titans. But it certainly would help the rookie to take a full slate of snaps in the run-up to the game.
“Whoever doesn’t get full reps misses out on some things,” Bowles said. “But obviously we study all week and we study the same way with Josh and the same way with Davis. So, we’ll see and we’ll make that decision.”
Missing a couple games won’t derail Darnold’s rookie season, but it did set him back a bit.
“Obviously as a rookie quarterback, you don’t want to miss time, because every experience and every practice is a moment to learn,” Bates said. “I think that hurt him a little bit as far as missing those two weeks. But he’s been studying in the film room. Naturally, he’s going to keep getting better. He’s absorbing all the information, both positive and negative. The future is really bright.”