Jets QB Sam Darnold watched from the sideline on Monday night, the third game the team's signal-caller, captain and leader has missed because of an injured right shoulder. Like his teammates and the team's fans, he was disappointed in the result -- a 30-27 loss to the Patriots.
"Most of the guys, they understand that that was a very winnable game for us," Darnold said in a conference call on Tuesday. "It sucks whenever you lose in the NFL, whenever you lose, no matter what level. It's going to sting for everyone. We have to come back in and learn from our mistakes and continue to get better. That's all we can control right now."
Last week, Darnold was cautious, though optimistic, that he would respond to treatment that would allow him to face New England. But that simply was not the case and Joe Flacco stepped in.
The next target is the game at the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 22, in Darnold's native Southern California, after the Jets (0-9) take most of this week off.
"I like where his mindframe is and how he's approaching it," said Head Coach Adam Gase. "It comes down to how he feels when he goes through practice. The extra week is key. He knows how it needs to feel. Last week was a good indication where he did not feel well enough. We hope the extra time gives him a shot to play."
Darnold's right shoulder was injured in the Week 4 Thursday night game against Denver. He missed a couple of games, returned to play against Buffalo, then aggravated the injury on an ill-fated third-down scramble against Kansas City.
"It's still a day-to-day process for me now, making sure it's healthy and ready to go as soon as possible," Darnold said. "It's getting better every day and we continue to treat it and make sure I do everything every single day to make sure it's right. We haven't figured out a throwing regimen yet. Depending how it's feeling everyday I'm sure they will figure it out.
Asked if he felt the second injury, and the missed week of practice, put him back to where he was after the Broncos game, Darnold said: "I wouldn't say I was completely back to square one from where it was in the beginning, somewhere in the middle. It just didn't feel right during the week of practice. I knew that giving it a week or two was definitely the best decision to make. It was a hard decision. This next week and a half, two weeks are key to letting this thing recover so I can finish out the season strong."
The Jets' offensive attack sustained a major setback in the first quarter on Monday night when the rookie No. 1 draft pick, LT Mekhi Becton, left the game with a chest injury. He did not return.
Becton (6-7, 364) has been receiving rave reviews for his strong play, leading the team's RBs to healthy gains. But after Frank Gore ran for 15 yards, Becton lumbered to the sideline and was replaced by Chuma Edoga.
"This isn't an easy one for me, I don't always understand when talking about specific injuries," Gase said in response to a question about the diagnosis. "I'm just going off what the doctors tell me. I don't know when it happened."
Gase added that right after Becton left the game, he was told that the trainers and doctors "didn't say lung or heart to me."
He added: "It's hard for me to explain, I'm not a doctor. I just know he couldn't play. Now we're trying to put him in a position to play the next game."
Becton missed two games earlier in the season with a shoulder injury.
In other injury news, Gase reported that CB Brian Poole sustained a knee injury, which kept him out of the second half. The head coach said that, as of Tuesday, he expects Poole to be ready to face the Chargers.