Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Kirk Cousins will be the biggest name on the quarterback market this offseason. He will also be the most expensive -- and some would say, best -- option for the Jets.

But he won't be their only option in an offseason when a surprising number of quality quarterbacks will be available. As the Jets try to make their move out of 'Quarterback Hell' -- a place they've resided in for decades, really -- GM Mike Maccagnan will have a plethora of choices, and the tools (a high draft pick and oodles of cap room) to help the Jets get their man.

Whether it's through the draft, a trade, or free agency, there's no excuse for the Jets not to come out of this spring without their quarterback for at least the next five years or so. Here's a guide to the quarterbacks who will likely be available in the coming weeks:

The free agents

Kirk Cousins

If you don't think there'll be a crazy bidding war for him, keep in mind the number of teams that pursued Mike Glennon last year and the three-year, $45 million deal he ended up with in Chicago. Cousins is a true rarity -- a franchise quarterback hitting free agency in his prime (assuming the Redskins don't franchise him for a third time). He will cash in big, and it will be deserved.

Sam Bradford

He's more of an unknown now, at 30 and coming off knee surgery. But one year ago in Minnesota he completed 71.6 percent of his passes for 3,877 yards with 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He's the second tier here, but he will get paid. Injuries make him a big risk, though.

Case Keenum

On his third team in six seasons, Keenum had a career year and helped his team to the NFC championship game. But did he lead them or was he carried? And was this season a mirage for the journeyman? The talk is he'll get a deal similar to what Glennon got, but his fit is more with a team that doesn't have a lot of cap room to spend and maybe needs him to hold a spot for a young quarterback (Hello, Arizona).



Teddy Bridgewater

The classic boom-or-bust choice. He's only 25 and looked so promising in 2015, but a serious knee injury the next summer put his career in doubt. The upside is tremendous. The downside is he never plays again. His best bet might be to sign with a team where he can back up an older quarterback and maybe work his way into that team's future.

Brock Osweiler

The Texans, Broncos, and Browns have passed him around like a hot potato over the last few years. He's still 27 and still huge (6-7, 240) with a big arm, but he hasn't done enough in six seasons for a team like the Jets (or anyone) to trust him.

Josh McCown

He exceeded all expectations last season, but the Jets have to do better. And younger. He'll be 39 in July. Maybe he can return to groom someone the Jets draft at No. 6, but any other way and the Jets are just wasting time.

Jay Cutler

The Jets were intrigued with him last offseason and even invited him in for a discussion. Instead, he chose retirement. And then un-retirement. And then he hovered between bad and mediocre in Miami. It's hard to see the Jets going down this road again.

A.J. McCarron

Now that he's won a grievance against the Bengals and will be a free agent, he's an intriguing option. He's only 27 and drew some raves for his work in a four-game (three-start) cameo at the end of 2015. But that's really all he's done in four NFL seasons, and he wasn't highly regarded coming out of Alabama. He's an unknown with upside who really needs to be in a place where he can compete for a job.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Um, no. Not again.

Geno Smith

Ditto.

Trade possibilities



Tyrod Taylor

Alex Smith was the most attractive trade option, and he's off the market now. Taylor's not officially on the market, and he may never be, but after the Bills benched him in the middle of last season his future is clearly not secure. The Jets were eyeing him last offseason when it looked like Buffalo might cut him. If he's available, they'll probably inquire. It's just hard to see the Bills trading a starting quarterback inside their own division.

The draft

Sam Darnold

He's gone from the consensus No. 1 to probably No. 2 to maybe even No. 3, but that's the way it goes for the top quarterbacks in every draft. Right now if the Jets want him they'd have to move up at least into the Top 3, and keep in mind there's no guarantee the Browns (at 1) or Giants (at 2) are trading. They both might take quarterbacks. In that case, the Jets would have to hope he drops and that the Colts (at 3) are willing to swap spots with the Jets at 6. … It's early, though, so all the first-round quarterbacks could end up moving all over the board.

Josh Rosen

One consistent thing has come out of the early draft analysis: Everyone thinks Rosen is one of the top two quarterbacks in the draft. If it stays that way, and the Browns and Giants do what's expected, Rosen won't be a possibility for the Jets.



Josh Allen

Perhaps the most intriguing quarterback in the draft, he's a darling of scouts but coming off a mediocre season for a mostly bad Wyoming team against weak competition. Because of that he's a wild-card. There are already reports that have the Browns zeroing in on him at No. 1. He also could be available at 3, and if he is, the Colts will have some takers for their pick.

Baker Mayfield

Before last week, not many thought he was a Top 10 pick. Then he had a terrific week at the Senior Bowl and now he's being talked as if he's almost as good as the Big 3. Still a bit undersized and with a wild-card of a personality, he'd be a real interesting choice if he falls to 6 for the Jets. And at this point, it's a decent bet that he might.

Lamar Jackson

Barring a surprising rise up through the quarterback rankings after the combine and Pro Days, he'll definitely be available for the Jets at 6. They also might be able to trade down and still get him, though that's a risk a quarterback-needy team probably can't afford to take.

Internal options

Christian Hackenberg

The second-round pick from 2016 is not really an option. The fact that he couldn't earn a snap in two seasons -- both of which saw the starting quarterback go down with an injury -- says it all. The Jets think he has a higher upside than Bryce Petty, but that's about as high as their praise goes these days. If they thought he had any chance to be their Quarterback of the Future, he would've played in December. He'll be battling for a job in training camp in July and August now instead.

Bryce Petty

He's had seven starts in the last two seasons to prove he deserves a shot. He didn't.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano

New York Jets wide receiver Terrelle Pryor is tackled after a catch by Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Terrelle Pryor is tackled after a catch by Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Terrelle Pryor's time with the Jets has come to an end. At least, for now.

The wide receiver was released on Saturday due to a groin injury, which will keep him out at least two weeks, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The Jets are interested in bringing Pryor back when healthy if he does not sign elsewhere. 

Tags: Terrelle Pryor
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Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) celebrates a touchdown against the Denver Broncos with New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) celebrates a touchdown against the Denver Broncos with New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

For the second straight season, the Jets are 3-3 heading into Week 7, but this feels different. 

Just ask backup quarterback Josh McCown.  

McCown, who was the Jets starting quarterback last season, had the team off to a surprising 3-2 start heading into Week 6 before they sputtered and finished the season 2-9 to close with a 5-11 record. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold
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Bowles welcomes back Robinson 00:00:36
Todd Bowles welcomes back Rashard Robinson to a banged up secondary and likes the development of his young tight ends.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles discussed the return of Rashard Robinson and shed light on the tight end situation as the team prepares for Sunday's game against the Vikings. "The energy [Robinson] brings out on the practice field has been great," Bowles said.

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Sep 20, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets defensive back Buster Skrine (41) warms up before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports (David Dermer)
Sep 20, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets defensive back Buster Skrine (41) warms up before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports (David Dermer)

As the Jets released their final injury report on Friday, CB Buster Skrine was added to the list of players that are deemed inactive for their Sunday afternoon game against the Vikings. 

Skrine, who is dealing with a concussion, joined WR Quincy Enunwa and S Marcus Maye among those sidelined for the Week 7 matchup. 

Even worse is the fact that CB Trumaine Johnson (quad) and WR Terrelle Pryor (groin) were listed as doubtful for Sunday. Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis joins them on that list as well...

Tags: Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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Kirk Cousins (8) Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Kirk Cousins (8) Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Sam Darnold was not the Jets' first choice to be their new franchise quarterback, even if he turns out to be the right choice. Kirk Cousins was always Plan A.

Of course, their pursuit of the 30-year-old Cousins turned out exactly how they feared it would. They offered him a fully guaranteed, three-year, $90 million contract, and he still took less to sign with the Minnesota Vikings.

But what if Cousins had said yes?

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets get set for Minnesota 00:01:11
Todd Bowles discusses the Minnesota Vikings offense, Jeremy Bates talks red zone efficiency and Kacy Rodgers returns from health scare.

Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers returned to the podium for his weekly press conference on Thursday after being away from the team to address a serious undisclosed medical issue.

The 49-year-old did not provide specifics of the health scare, but said he's "feeling a lot better" after undergoing a procedure, per ESPN's Rich Cimini. The results came back negative, and he has been cleared to return to the sidelines as early as Sunday against the Vikings.

This past Sunday, Rodgers surprised the players before the Jets' win over the Colts at MetLife Stadium. Head coach Todd Bowles said Rodgers' visit gave the team a "big lift," especially for the defense.

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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

DL Leonard Williams (back) and WR Robby Anderson (hamstring) returned as full participants in Thursday's Jets practice after missing practice the previous day.

While that's good news for the Jets ahead of Sunday's Week 7 game against the Vikings, there were plenty of players who remained on the "did not participate" list.

RB Isaiah Crowell (foot), WR Terrelle Pryor (groin), DB Buster Skrine (concussion), DB Trumaine Johnson (quad), WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and DB Marcus Maye did not practice for the second straight day.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) is tackled by New York Jets linebacker Avery Williamson (54) and linebacker Darron Lee (58) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) is tackled by New York Jets linebacker Avery Williamson (54) and linebacker Darron Lee (58) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Jets linebackers Darron Lee and Avery Williamson have cemented their status as "Best Football Friends."

In a video posted Thursday, the NFL buddies took on Bleacher Report's Chris Simms and Adam Lefkoe in a friendly game of "BFF Challenge."

Since the showdown was held on the network's turf, Lee and Williamson played as the away team, but they threw any home-field advantage out the window despite hilariously struggling through parts of the challenge.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Darron Lee
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Jets prep for Vikes 00:01:24
Sam Darnold and Todd Bowles talk about the Vikings defense, the team's progress so far and home crowd support.

Jets QB Sam Darnold has felt the energy at MetLife Stadium this season and he hopes the home-field advantage gives his team yet another boost when they face the Vikings on Sunday.

"It's safe to say we want to win every single game, but definitely on a homestand [we want to] win every single game," Darnold said. "Because our fans are amazing ... It's awesome to be able to play in front of them. Whenever we make a big play or score a touchdown, we feel the momentum in the whole arena really shift. It's awesome to be able to feel that and continue to grow off of that as a team."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

QB Sam Darnold (elbow) appeared on Wednesday's Jets injury report, but said the issue is "nothing crazy," per ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Darnold said he banged his right elbow while making a tackle following his interception during Sunday's win over the Colts. He added that it didn't affect him at all in practice, which he participated in fully on Wednesday.

Head coach Todd Bowles also told reporters he isn't worried about the rookie.

However, DL Leonard Williams (back), WR Robby Anderson (hamstring) and RB Isaiah Crowell (foot) highlighted a long list of Jets who did not practice.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Joe Namath talks Sam Darnold 00:02:45
Jets legend Joe Namath talks about Super Bowl III, advice from Bear Bryant, and his thoughts on Sam Darnold's chances with the current team

Ahead of the Jets honoring the 50th anniversary of their Super Bowl III victory, Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath sat down with SNY's Jeane Coakley to reflect on that upset win, how he prayed "run clock," and what he thinks of today's QB Sam Darnold...

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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts (27) celebrates with cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) in front of Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (14) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts (27) celebrates with cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) in front of Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (14) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

 

Click below to listen...

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Jan 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews (18) looks to catch a pass for a first down against Houston Texans defensive back Robert Nelson (32) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Brown)
Jan 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews (18) looks to catch a pass for a first down against Houston Texans defensive back Robert Nelson (32) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Brown)

The Jets are bringing in free agent WR Rishard Matthews for a workout Tuesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The 29-year-old veteran was cut by the Titans last month after he requested a release due to his unhappiness with his playing time. He registered just three catches and 11 receiving yards over the first three weeks of the season.

But with Quincy Enunwa out between three and four weeks with a high-ankle sprain, the Jets are looking for a stopgap at wide receiver.

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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa fumbles the ball in the second quarter after a hit by Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa fumbles the ball in the second quarter after a hit by Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Quincy Enunwa had developed into Sam Darnold's most reliable receiver early in the season. He was the player Darnold threw to the most and turned to when he needed a third-down catch.

So what is Darnold going to do without Enunwa, who suffered a high-ankle sprain and will probably be out for about a month?

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Sam Darnold wasn't just twiddling his thumbs while waiting to get drafted this past spring. Like all fans of his future NFL team, the Jets quarterback was keeping a close eye on the Kirk Cousins free agency saga before the Redskins QB signed with the Vikings.

"I was definitely following it," Darnold said Monday ahead of his Week 7 matchup with Minnesota Sunday at MetLife Stadium, per the New York Daily News. "During the draft process, there's nothing really else to pay attention to. Because I'm not on a team. We're not trying to dial up anything. I'm not at USC trying to figure out what we're going to do the next year. And I'm not on an NFL team trying to figure it out."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) scrambles during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Sep 30, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) scrambles during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Six weeks into the season, all four of the rookie quarterbacks taken in the Top 10 of the NFL draft have at least three starts on their resume. They've had a chance to get rid of their first-game jitters, or to catch the NFL by surprise, and they're starting to settle in to their rookie seasons.

It will take years, of course, to determine which of the four is the best. It might even take that long for one of them to lead a team to the playoffs. But now that they've all settled down, it's easy to determine which ones are off to the best start.

Here's a look -- and a ranking -- at how the Fab Four are faring so far...

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 7, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

On the heels of a strong performance in Week 5, Sam Darnold was tremendous in the Jets' Week 6 win over the Colts. And his Pro Football Focus grades bear that out.

According to PFF, Darnold has the second-best passing grade (89.8) in the NFL over the last two weeks. Over that same span, his 71.4 deep accuracy percentage is third and his accuracy percentage with a clean pocket (87.2) is fourth.

Things opened up for Darnold in Week 5 due in part to the record-breaking game running back Isaiah Crowell had. But in the win over the Colts, he picked apart the Indianapolis defense without the benefit of being able to fall back on a red-hot ground game. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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 (Richard Mackson)
(Richard Mackson)

The Raiders are awful again, and are reportedly ready to trade some of their most valuable assets -- including WR Amari Cooper. Should the Jets have interest?

Cooper -- the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 Draft -- left the Raiders' Week 6 loss due to a concussion and has had a down 2018 so far after having just 48 receptions for 680 yards in 2017. But he was highly productive during his first two years in the league when the Raiders were actually competitive. 

He had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns during his rookie season in 2015 as the Raiders went 7-9. During Oakland's 12-4 season in 2016, Cooper reeled in 83 catches for 1,153 yards and five touchdowns.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Danny Abriano
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) makes a catch against the New York Giants during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) makes a catch against the New York Giants during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa will miss around three to four weeks with a high-ankle sprain in Sunday's win over the Colts, SNY.tv's Ralph Vacchiano has confirmed.

Head coach Todd Bowles said Monday that Enunwa, who did not play in the second half on Sunday, suffered a sprained ankle but did not reveal its severity.

The three-to-four-week timeframe is typical for high-ankle sprains, although it could vary.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Jets S Marcus Maye suffered a broken thumb during Sunday's win over the Colts, reports SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

According to Vacchiano, the team is still evaluating the extent of the injury. Maye missing three-to-four weeks is a reasonable estimate, adds Vacchiano, but is far from a certainty. 

Vacchiano adds that there is some hope that if Maye heals quickly and can tolerate the pain, he may be able to play with a cast on (Maye was wearing a cast after Sunday's game)...

Tags: Marcus Maye
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Kacy Rodgers Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Kacy Rodgers Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers received some good news on Monday.

Rodgers, who has been battling a serious undisclosed medical condition the last two weeks, was cleared to slowly return to his coaching duties and will be the defensive play-caller again this Sunday.

Head coach Todd Bowles, who had taken over the defensive play-calling responsibilities in Rodgers' absence, revealed the good news in a conference call on Monday calling it a "big relief."

Tags: Morris Claiborne
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Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

In Sunday's 42-34 win over the Colts, Jets QB Sam Darnold put together his most complete performance as a pro, completing 24 of 30 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Let's look at some specific examples before we draw conclusions...

Tags: Brian Winters, Jordan Leggett, Neal Sterling, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) catches a pass over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Milton (28) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) catches a pass over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Milton (28) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The presence of all those Super Bowl III heroes on Sunday wasn't just a celebration of the Jets' greatest achievement, it was a painful reminder of why it's so hard to believe in this year's team. There have been too many years of heartache, too many seasons of disappointment, too many times the rug was pulled out from under everyone's feet.

So when these Jets beat the Indianapolis Colts 42-34 on Sunday, barely hanging on in the end, there were surely a few skeptics who saw the team's obvious flaws. And when Todd Bowles stepped to the podium and said "We're right back in the thick of these things," it's understandable if everyone rolled his or her eyes.

Tags: Darron Lee, Indianapolis Colts, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets talk 42-34 victory 00:01:09
Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Jermaine Kearse, Chris Herndon and Todd Bowles talk about the positives after a huge win over the Colts, 42-34.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - As the Jets celebrated the 50th anniversary of their last Super Bowl championship team, Sam Darnold gave them even more reason to believe that the next one won't be too far off.

The 21-year-old Darnold, in his first real shootout against a top tier NFL quarterback, out-played Andrew Luck on Sunday afternoon. He completed 24 of 30 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns and one interception to lead the Jets to a 42-27 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Luck was pretty good too (23 of 43, 301 yards and 4 touchdowns), except for the fact that he threw three interceptions. He also even nearly engineered a second-half comeback but fell an onside kickoff recovery short. But overall, Darnold was the more impressive quarterback for most of the game, after he shook off a shaky start. He did get help from a Jets defense that forced four turnovers, but the running game wasn't nearly as good as it has been...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Buster Skrine, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) rushes for yards after a catch as Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore (23) pursues during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) rushes for yards after a catch as Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore (23) pursues during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: The Jets held off the banged-up Colts for a 42-34 win on Sunday to improve to 3-3 on the season. Let's highlight three of the best performances, along with three players who were disappointments.

Winners

QB Sam Darnold 

Tags: Marcus Maye, Sam Darnold, Terrence Brooks
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SNY's Week 6 Jets Report Cards 00:02:46
Ray Lucas, Willie Colon, and Bart Scott hand out their report cards after the Jets beat the Colts on Sunday, 42-34.

The Jets have moved to 3-3 on the season after defeating the Colts 42-34 on Sunday. The Jets Post Game Live crew handed out their grades for each unit, and what they ultimately thought of the Jets' latest performance. 

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Sam Darnold has seemed comfortable as the Jets put together back-to-back wins to move to 3-3 on the season.

During Sunday's victory over the Colts, the rookie quarterback was 24 of 30 for 280 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. 

So what's the area where Darnold has improved the most?

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath during pre game warm up before game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath during pre game warm up before game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath is a fan of rookie Sam Darnold, but stressed that how high Darnold reaches will be about his surrounding cast.

"I do see a physical ability and I understand a mental ability," Namath said Sunday before the Jets honored the 50th anniversary of their Super Bowl III victory. "But I can't emphasize enough -- it's about the front line of both sides of the ball, it's about the kicking game, it's about the entire team, man."

Namath then started talking about Archie Manning, who he said would have been the first Manning Hall-of-Famer if the Saints (the team Namath referred to as the 'Aints') had put a quality team around him.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell carries the ball against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell carries the ball against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets RB Isaiah Crowell (ankle) will play in Sunday's game against the Colts.

Crowell, who was a game-time decision, was limited in practice earlier in the week. 

The 25-year-old Crowell is coming off a record-breaking game in Week 5 when he had a Jets-record 219 rushing yards and added a 12-yard reception in the Jets' win over the Broncos. 

Tags: Buster Skrine, Charone Peake
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