Gase says ‘anything’s on the table’ with Darnold’s shoulder

NEW YORK (AP) — Sam Darnold’s sprained right shoulder will be the New York Jets’ focus over the next several days.

Coach Adam Gase said Friday there are “a lot of questions to answer there” and it’s possible Darnold could miss some time.

“I think anything’s on the table right now,” Gase said. “I haven’t really had a chance to talk to him in detail. Just really when I saw him, it was more about how he felt right now. That’s why we’ve got to circle back with the doctors and we’ve got to circle back with the trainers.”

The quarterback was hurt in the first quarter of the 37-28 loss to Denver on Thursday night when Alexander Johnson slammed him to the turf at MetLife Stadium. Darnold left after one more play to be examined, but appeared to escape serious injury when he surprisingly returned during the Jets’ next offensive series and finished the game.

Darnold showed no clear signs that he was struggling through the injury during the game and threw the ball well. But the Jets understandably want to be cautious with the third-year quarterback as they determine whether he might need to be limited during practice next week — or even possibly shut down for a few days. New York next plays on Oct. 11 at home against Arizona.

“We just need to make sure that we lay everything out and kind of see where we go from here and what’s best for him,” Gase said. “Not just next week, but long term.”

Gase wouldn’t say whether he thought the slam by Johnson that hurt Darnold should have been penalized, but indicated he would check in with the NFL early next week to see what the league thinks.

Darnold struggled mightily through the Jets’ first three games, but had his best performance of the young season against the Broncos. He was 23 of 42 for 230 yards, and also ran for 84 yards — a franchise record for a quarterback — including a dazzling 46-yard touchdown.

“There was a lot of good,” Gase said of Darnold’s performance. “I thought he did a really unbelievable job as far as just seeing his toughness and his willingness to go from the locker room and run right out there on that third down. I mean, that was very impressive just to see what kind of competitor he was.”

In other injuries, Gase said rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton has no structural damage to his injured left shoulder and it’s more about how he can tolerate the pain. Becton was active after being listed as questionable, but didn’t start as Chuma Edoga took his spot in the lineup. But Edoga injured his shoulder on the Jets’ fourth offensive play and Becton needed to replace him.

Becton tried to tough it out, but was in clear pain on the sideline and was replaced by Conor McDermott. Gase and the Jets took some criticism over putting the No. 11 overall pick in the game when he was already injured. Gase said Becton immediately told offensive line coach Frank Pollack he was going to play when Edoga went down.

“He went in and tried to do as much as he could,” Gase said. “I appreciate the fact that he tried to give it a go, but he couldn’t do much. He didn’t have enough strength to battle those guys.”

Edoga’s status will also depend on his pain tolerance.

Cornerback Bless Austin and linebacker Jordan Jenkins are day to day with calf injuries. Right tackle George Fant has an injured thumb and will need to play with a cast. Rookie wide receiver Lawrence Cager will likely be sidelined for a few weeks with a hamstring injury, but Gase said the results of the MRI came back better than the team initially feared.

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