Jets Curse Strikes: Darnold Has Mono, Bell Having MRI

Tim Kelly
September 12, 2019 - 11:23 am

Monday Night Football won't feature a matchup of Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold - the first two quarterbacks selected in the 2018 NFL Draft - after all.

Thursday, New York Jets head coach Adam Gase told the collective media, which included Rich Cimini of ESPN, that Darnold will miss the team's Week 2 tilt with the Cleveland Browns. Per Gase, the Jets second-year quarterback has been diagnosed with mono. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network added that it's possible Darnold won't be able to return until after the team's bye week in Week 4.

That means the Jets - who are already 0-1 - are likely looking at Trevor Siemian starting at least two games. Siemian, 27, did start 24 games for the Denver Broncos between 2016 and 2017, and has thrown 30 touchdowns to 24 interceptions in his career. It is worth noting that he hasn't taken a snap in a regular season game since Week 15 of the 2017 NFL season.

In a corresponding move, the Jets have promoted second-year quarterback Luke Falk, a former star at Washington State, to their active roster. He'll be Siemian's backup.

It's a tough break for Darnold, who threw 17 touchdowns to 15 interceptions in his rookie season of 2018. With a new (offensive-minded) head coach, there was hope that Darnold would take a major step forward in 2019. He may still do that, but he was underwhelming in the Jets Week 1 17-16 loss to the Bills - he threw for 175 yards in 41 passing attempts - and now will miss at least Monday evening's game.

To make matters worse, ESPN's Adam Schefter says that Jets running back Le'Veon Bell is going to have an MRI on his shoulder. Bell ran for 60 yards and had a receiving touchdown in his Jets debut. The Jets inked Bell, a two-time All Pro, to a four-year/$52 million free-agent deal with $27 million guaranteed this past offseason.