Sam Darnold Injury, Carolina Panthers, NY Jets
Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Getty Images

Sam Darnold and Geno Smith had eventful Fridays, in very different ways

In polar opposite ways, Friday night was a big one for two former faces of the New York Jets: Sam Darnold and Geno Smith.

First, we’ll cover the bad news. Darnold suffered an injury during the Carolina Panthers’ preseason finale against the Buffalo Bills. It was later revealed to be a high-ankle sprain. His timetable for a return has yet to be revealed, and he will have an MRI today.

In the week leading up to this game, the Panthers officially announced that Baker Mayfield had beaten out Darnold for the starting quarterback job. Mayfield started against Buffalo and threw two touchdown passes before Darnold relieved him.

Smith received great news on Friday. Following the Seattle Seahawks’ preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys, head coach Pete Carroll announced that Smith would be the team’s Week 1 starting quarterback. Smith competed against Drew Lock for the job.

It’s been nearly a decade since Smith’s last opportunity to be a team’s primary starting quarterback. This will be Smith’s first Week 1 start since 2014, which was his second year with the Jets. Now 31 years old, Smith is entering his 10th NFL season.

Since his final season with the Jets in 2016, Smith has actually posted some decent numbers. From 2017 to 2021, Smith completed 91 of 140 passes (65%) for 955 yards (6.8 per attempt), 6 touchdowns, and 1 interception, earning a passer rating of 96.0. He has a 1-3 record as a starter over that span.

Smith will lead the Seahawks in the first Monday Night Football game of the 2022 regular season when the Denver Broncos visit the Pacific Northwest on September 12. It will mark the return of former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who Smith backed up in 2021.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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1 year ago

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1 year ago

Thank God both are off the roster. Used to think Pete was a great coach, time will tell. This team is heading in the right direction.
Can’t wait! Just extend This season! The change in attitude is perceptible!