It's taken a while, but the Jets are getting back to football health. And one of the biggest signs of that is Sam Darnold returning under center to run the Green & White offense.
Darnold, after sitting out the second three-game stretch of his young career, this time to overcome a bout with mononucleosis, was cleared early in the week to return to action and is expected to lead the Jets against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium this afternoon (4:25 p.m. ET kickoff).
Darnold, even though coming off a 17-16 home loss to Buffalo in this year's opener before his illness was diagnosed, has been on an upward trend in his progress as a pro quarterback. In his last five games dating to last year's Game 13 at Buffalo, Darnold has completed 65.1% of his passes, thrown seven TDs to one interception, and has a 95.6 passer rating.
The linebacker position is also on the mend. LB Jordan Jenkins, who missed the last two games with a calf injury, is back in action. And the Jets also will get LB Brandon Copeland back in uniform after he finished serving his four-game NFL suspension.
However, MLB C.J. Mosley, who made such a big impact in the opener against Buffalo, only to leave that game in the third quarter with a groin injury that has sidelined him ever since, is inactive for the fourth straight game.
Also inactive for the Green & White due to injuries are CB Nate Hairston (knee), RB/KR Trenton Cannon (foot/ankle), G Kelechi Osemele (shoulder/knee) and DL Henry Anderson (shoulder).
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Here is the Jets' seven-man inactive list for today's game.
- CB Nate Hairston
- RB Trenton Cannon
- LB Frankie Luvu
- LB C.J. Mosley
- OL Conor McDermott
- G Kelechi Osemele
- DL Henry Anderson
And the Cowboys' inactive list, which includes both starting tackles, Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, and former Jets WR Devin Smith:
- WR Devin Smith
- WR Randall Cobb
- DE Joe Jackson
- C Adam Redmond
- T La'el Collins
- T Tyron Smith
- DT Trysten Hill
The Jets will be wearing all white today, their new spotlight white jerseys and pants, for the first time at a home game this season. They also went white/white for their first two preseason games this year at the Giants and Falcons. The last time they wore all white in their former unis was for last year's game at Buffalo, which, noted above, signified Darnold's return from his foot injury and got him started on his late-season surge that continues, Jets fans can only hope, into this afternoon's game.
Today's referee is Bradley Rogers, who was promoted to referee this season and is calling his first Jets game.