In two days, the New England Patriots will play their first divisional game of the season. One week after their upcoming matchup with the Miami Dolphins, they will play their second AFC East game of the year when the New York Jets visit Gillette Stadium. While a lot will happen over those next nine days, we already know that the Jets are expected to travel to New England without starting quarterback Sam Darnold.
As was confirmed by head coach Adam Gase on Thursday, Darnold is dealing with mononucleosis and will at least miss this week’s game against the Cleveland Browns. While the illness does not necessarily rule out the second-year man for the meeting with the Patriots just yet, he will likely miss additional time on top of the Monday night contest versus the Browns. This means that Week 3 very much appears to be in jeopardy.
If Darnold is indeed out next Sunday, the Jets will turn to back quarterback Trevor Siemian. The fifth-year man, who started his career with the Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings before joining the Jets earlier this year, has considerable starting experience in the NFL but not a great track record: Siemian has completed just 59.3% of his passes during his 26 career games, while throwing 30 touchdowns against 24 interceptions.
Siemian did appear in one game against the Patriots so far. In 2016, when he was the Broncos’ starting quarterback, he completed 25 of 40 pass attempts for 282 yards and an interception. New England won the game with a score of 16-3.
How Darnold contracted mono is everyone’s guess, but some have their theories: