Jets QB Darnold returns to practice, has chance to play

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold practiced for the first time since spraining his throwing shoulder and could have a chance to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

Darnold was listed as a limited participant Wednesday, which is a positive development for the young quarterback.

“Right now, we’re just saying that all options are available,” coach Adam Gase said before practice. “We’ll have him on a pitch count.”

Darnold sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder against Denver on Oct. 1. He briefly left the game to be examined before returning, but hadn’t practiced or played since. Joe Flacco has started the last two games at quarterback for the Jets.

“I think the biggest thing is how is he going to feel tomorrow?” Gase said. “We just want to make sure that if there’s anything that really lingers or anything when he’s throwing, that’s kind of his red flag of, ‘Hey, I’ve got to let you guys know.’ I think the trainers and Sam have done a good job of communicating back and forth to make sure they’re on the same page and relaying that information to us to make sure that we know what’s going on.”

Darnold has thrown some passes on the side during practices, but hadn’t been involved in individual or team drills since the injury. Gase said both Darnold and Flacco would get snaps during the team period. The Jets will decide later in the week who’ll start.

“It’s one of those situations where we need him to be real honest, which he has done a good job of since I’ve been here,” Gase said of Darnold. “We’ll just kind of see where it goes. We’ll get him rolling and kind of see today how he feels and we have to see the next day as well.”

The Jets are 0-8 over the last three seasons in games Darnold has not started, including 0-4 this year.

In other injuries, left guard Alex Lewis did not practice after hurting a shoulder last Sunday at Miami and appears likely to miss the game against the Bills.

Left tackle Mekhi Becton (shoulder) was limited after missing most of the last three games after being hurt against Indianapolis in Week 3. The No. 11 overall pick was off to a terrific start before he was injured, but has a chance to return this week.

“The fact that we’re going to have him out at practice and he’ll be able to do team reps, that’s a good feeling to know,” Gase said. “It’s all about how do we get through the week, how does he feel from today wearing shoulder pads and hitting? And then tomorrow, how is he going to feel Friday?”

Wide receivers Breshad Perriman (ankle/knee) and Jamison Crowder (groin) were also limited, as were offensive lineman Chuma Edoga (calf) and kicker Sam Ficken (right groin). The injuries to Crowder and Ficken weren’t announced by Gase earlier in the day, so they apparently happened during practice Wednesday.

Gase was optimistic about the chances rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims could make his NFL debut this week. The second-round pick has been sidelined since training camp with hamstring issues, but was cleared to return to practice . Gase said Mims worked with the scout team last week and is expected to participate in regular offensive drills this week.

NOTES: CB Bryce Hall was designated to return to practice from the non-football injury list. The fifth-round pick out of Virginia has been sidelined since an ankle injury ended his college career. … The Jets placed OLB Frankie Luvu on injured reserve with a groin injury.

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