Sam Darnold (285553)
Credit: Bill Moore photo

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is back. Darnold has been medically cleared to play football again after missing the Jets’ last three games due to mononucleosis. He’s been practicing, taking first-team reps since last week.

Darnold will start the Jets’ Sunday afternoon home game against the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas, 3 and 2, will come to MetLife Stadium with a two-game losing streak. The Jets, 0 and 4, have only won coin tosses since the season began. Both teams are in need of a win.

Until Dallas’ last two losses, first to the New Orleans Saints and then the Green Bay Packers, they were a projected playoff team.

The Jets, on the other hand, have struggled with a backup and third string quarterback since Darnold’s diagnosis ending Week 1.

“We are shooting ourselves in the foot too often,” is one way Jets head coach Adam Gase describes his team’s losses, not overlooking his shortage of personnel.

“It is really screwing up our drives and putting us in bad position,” noted Gase. “We are not getting anything going, and there is no consistency. We have to just keep going to work, putting our head down and finding ways to come together as 11 guys on offense. If we can do that, that’s where we are going to have consistency within our drive.”

Darnold will now return, feeling good. “Energy’s awesome,” he said during an interview, although realistically, now isn’t the greatest time to expect overwhelmingly positve results for the Jets.

Even though Dallas has two consecutive losses, they’ve averaged 32.3 points in their three wins, 17 points in their losses. On average, in five games, the Cowboys have given up 18 points.

Following Dallas is the 5 and 0 New England Patriots, the defending champions, one of the two remaining undefeated NFL teams in the standings.

In five games, New England has only given up 34 points in total. That’s 6.8 points per game while scoring an naverage of 31. The 14 points that the Jets scored against them in Week 3 in New England is the most that the Patriots have allowed.

With their quarterback woes, the Jets have scored only 39 points all season. Lucky enough to have had a bye in Week 4, they’ve given up 101 points in four games. That’s 25 and a quarter points per. In their one game with Darnold to open the season, the Jets lost 17-16.

“Just looking to play this week,” said Darnold, excited to get back on the field. Also looking to get back out there is tight end Chris Herndon and linebacker Brandon Copeland, returning from their four-game suspensions for violations of the league’s performance-enhancing policy.