Sam Darnold's second NFL season has been filled with obstacles. After a Week 2 mono diagnosis sidelined him for four weeks, he also had to deal with a toe injury once he was finally able to get back on the field.
And now, heading into the Jets' Week 9 matchup in Miami, Darnold is dealing with a left thumb injury, though the USC product believes he'll be good to go come Sunday.
"It's been good in practice so far, so I don't see any issues," Darnold said on Thursday.
"With the whole toe thing last week and now the toe is finally healthy and now I have a thumb deal," Darnold said. "But again, the training staff and all the guys working over there have been doing a great job of getting it ready for the game and also preparing whatever I need to wear for the game, so I've been wearing (a brace) in practice and it's feeling really good."
There are always bumps in the road for young quarterbacks in the NFL, though they're normally more to do with adjusting to the speed of the game -- not dealing with injuries.
"The (mono) thing, obviously, you don't see coming. Then, the toe is what it is. It happens a lot in football. Then, the thumb was really just not a good decision by me," said Darnold. "I should've thrown the ball away. So, things there (like) that last one I can control, the thumb one, I should've thrown it away. But, other than that, it's just football."
In four games this season, Darnold has thrown for 817 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions.
As of late, teams have been throwing a fair amount of blitzes Darnold's way, with him getting sacked an average of 3.75 times per game -- the second-highest average in the NFL behind only Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston.
Two weeks ago, the Patriots brought pressure often against Darnold. And while the Patriots only mustered one sack, they forced Darnold into four interceptions. And with former Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores now at the helm in Miami, Darnold knows he can expect some similar looks, but knows that each week presents its own new set of challenges.
"Obviously, with (Brian) Flores coming from the Patriots, maybe. But for us, we feel like teams have kind of been playing us a little bit different than what we've been seeing on tape. So I guess we'll just have to see once we get out there," said Darnold.
"Really tough, really physical, little banged up in the secondary," Darnold said of the Dolphins defense. "But the guys who've been playing have been doing a really good job of stepping in. So we've got to be lights out with what we're doing and if we do that, we'll be good."