Jets’ Flacco to start again for injured Darnold vs. Dolphins

Joe Flacco

New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco passes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in East Rutherford. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — Joe Flacco will get his second straight start at quarterback for the New York Jets in place of the injured Sam Darnold.

Coach Adam Gase confirmed Wednesday that the 35-year-old Flacco would be under center Sunday at Miami against the Dolphins. That comes after Darnold missed last week’s game against Arizona with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder.

Flacco went 18 of 33 for 195 yards and one touchdown in New York’s 30-10 loss.

“I think I’ll probably be in a little bit different state of mind come Sunday,” Flacco said. “Definitely a lot of new feelings and things like that going through my head come Sunday because it was a little bit different for me. I put a lot of things out of my head as much as possible.

“I think this week will be a little easier to relax and get into the flow of the game right away.”

Flacco is 7-0 in his career against the Dolphins, including 1-0 in the playoffs.

“I know, man,” Flacco said with a big smile. “You’re trying to jinx it.”

Darnold, who was injured in the Jets’ 37-28 loss to Denver on Oct. 1, did not practice Wednesday. Darnold left the game against the Broncos for a few plays but returned and finished the game. He has not practiced since, though, and it’s uncertain when he will return.

“I think he’s better than what he was last week,” Gase said of Darnold. “The more time we give him, the better he’ll feel. He’s just taking the steps we need him to take to give us an opportunity into next week. We’ll be able to make that decision when we get there.

“I think he’s doing a good job of communicating and letting us know how he feels, where it’s not (just) what I want to hear but he’s being honest as far as his pain tolerance, his range of motion, how he feels.”

Gase said Darnold has been able to work on his throwing motion a bit the past few days.

“That’s a real big positive,” Gase said. “I do think he’s a quick healer and there’s no doubt any of us would ever say he’s anything but tough. We just want to make sure that he’s good before we put him out there.”

Darnold said he’s “progressing” and is “slowly but surely” beginning to throw passes.

“I feel like the shoulder is gaining a ton of range of motion, which is good,” he said. “But, again, just taking it one day at a time.”

In other injuries, rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton didn’t practice with a shoulder injury that sidelined him against the Cardinals.

“We’ll just kind of see how the week goes,” Gase said. “If there’s an opportunity there … I mean, he’s going through his rehab and we’re just taking this one day at a time.”

Left guard Alex Lewis (shoulder) also did not practice Wednesday, but Gase thought he would be limited Thursday and Friday and be ready to play Sunday.

Wide receiver Breshad Perriman (ankle), cornerback Bless Austin (calf) and defensive linemen Quinnen Williams (undisclosed) and John Franklin-Myers (foot) were all limited at practice.

The fact Perriman is practicing is a positive sign. He has been out since getting hurt against San Francisco in Week 2. Gase said he’s hoping Perriman is trending in the direction of being able to play Sunday against Miami.

“I’ve been waiting long enough,” Perriman said. “It’s always hard sitting out and watching your teammates play. I feel good. I think Sunday’s looking pretty good for me right now.”

Perriman was catching passes from Flacco again for the first time since their days together in Baltimore from 2015-17.

“It felt like old times,” Perriman said. “I feel like we didn’t really miss a beat. It felt good.”

The Jets also designated rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims, cornerback Arthur Maulet and offensive lineman Cameron Clark to return to practice from IR. New York has 21 days to activate them.

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