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Jets to start QB Joe Flacco vs. Cardinals with Sam Darnold injured

New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (5) during a practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Florham Park, N.J. Flacco passed his physical and will start the season on the New York Jets' active roster as one of Sam Darnold's backups. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)

The winless New York Jets will not have starting quarterback Sam Darnold against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday due to a shoulder injury, head coach Adam Gase told reporters Wednesday.

In the third-year quarterback’s place will be 13-year-pro Joe Flacco.

“We went through our process, our doctors, second opinions, just making sure we do the right thing not only by him but just the immediate future, long-term,” head coach Adam Gase said of Darnold.

Flacco, 35, replaced Darnold briefly in last week’s 37-28 loss to the Denver Broncos and went 2-of-2 for 16 yards. Darnold left the game after slamming his shoulder into the ground while taking a sack but returned to close out the 37-28 loss.

Darnold has completed 59% of his passes for 792 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions through Week 4. He also flashed as an athlete by running for 86 yards on six carries last week — 46 of those came on a scramble for a touchdown.

The quarterback said Monday he thought he was day-to-day but that doctors would determine whether it was safe to play through an injury to his throwing shoulder.

“It really does depend on what the doctors say and what they think can happen in the future in terms of further injury,” Darnold said, according to the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta. “Or if this can have a lingering effect if I do hurt it more. So, there’s still some discussion that needs to be had there.

“The most important thing for me is going out there if I can. If I’m able to play and I don’t play, that’s worse than anything in my opinion.”

This is Flacco’s first year in New York after he spent 2019 with the Broncos and the prior 11 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

Last season, he completed 65% of his passes for 1,822 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions, but Denver moved forward this offseason with the development of second-year pro Drew Lock.

Flacco underwent neck surgery in April and was inactive for the Jets’ first three games of 2020 before appearing Thursday in his first week as the backup.


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