McCown to start vs. Bills for injured Darnold
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Josh McCown is going from mentor to starter this week for the New York Jets.
The 39-year-old quarterback will be under center Sunday against the Buffalo Bills in place of injured rookie Sam Darnold, who’s sidelined with a strained right foot.
“I’m ready to rule him out as a starter for this week,” coach Todd Bowles said of Darnold on Thursday. “I don’t know if I’ll rule him out yet for the game.”
That means Darnold still could potentially be the No. 2 quarterback on Sunday. If not, Davis Webb would be promoted from the practice squad to serve as McCown’s backup.
Either way, the starting job is McCown’s — at least for this week.
“I’m extremely comfortable with him,” Bowles said. “We talk all the time. He understands the game and the team, and we see things the same way. So I’m comfortable.”
McCown has not taken a snap in a regular-season game this season as the Jets have focused on developing Darnold. The No. 3 overall pick won the job out of training camp, but was injured during New York’s 13-6 loss at Miami last Sunday.
McCown was the Jets’ starter last season and had a career year before being sidelined the last three games with a broken left hand. Since the summer, McCown has spoken highly of Darnold and expressed excitement about being able to have a hand in the youngster’s development.
Darnold has received lots of advice and tips from McCown on the sideline and practice field. Now, he’ll have no choice but to watch.
“I say it all the time: That’s why we do this, to play,” McCown said Wednesday when Darnold’s injury was announced. “If that’s the case, you’re torn because your friend and a teammate, it means he can’t go. In that regard, I don’t wish that on anybody, but at the same time as a professional, as a backup quarterback you have to serve your team in that role and go in and play winning football.
“That’s what’s fun, that’s what you look forward to and that’s why you play this game. And, we’ll go out and compete.”