Sam Darnold return versus Patriots looking more unlikely

It is looking more likely that Josh McCown will start at quarterback for the Jets on Sunday against the Patriots.

Rookie Sam Darnold did not practice again Wednesday. He did have a helmet on and did some running, but was unable to participate in drills as he recovers from a sprained a right foot, suffered in a Nov. 3 loss to the Dolphins.

“Every single day I feel like I’m progressing so much more and doing so much more in terms of running,” said Darnold, who has yet to face the Patriots in his career.

“Hopefully I can do a little bit more [Thursday] and see where we go from there.”

If Darnold is unable to practice Thursday, it is unlikely he will play Sunday.

Coach Todd Bowles would not say much about Darnold’s status, but said they will not rush him.

“I like to think on all injuries, we err on the side of caution, regardless of whether he is a veteran or rookie,” Bowles said. “So we don’t take age into account. If they’re well, they play, if they’re not, they don’t.”

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Jets using caution as pain-free Darnold wants to play Patriots

The education of Sam Darnold continued during the bye week…

Darnold acknowledged it would be tough — but not impossible — for him to start without a full week of practice.

“It will definitely be a little bit more of a challenge than if I were at practice the whole week, but I’ve been running this offense for a while now, for 10, 11 weeks,” Darnold said. “I feel like I wouldn’t really miss a beat there, it would just be about getting the reps with the guys and throwing a little bit and getting my shoulder right.”

WR Robby Anderson (ankle) did not practice again. That is not a good sign after a bye week. Bowles said Anderson is “sore” and said they are not thinking of shutting him down for the season at the moment. Anderson missed the game against the Bears on Oct. 28, but returned the following week against the Dolphins. He then sat out the game against the Bills before the bye.

The other starters who did not practice were S Marcus Maye (shoulder/thumb), LG James Carpenter (shoulder) and OLB Brandon Copeland (elbow). WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle) was limited.

Patriots QB Tom Brady was limited in practice with a knee injury. TE Rob Gronkowski was limited with ankle and back injuries.

Bowles had high praise for second-year safety Jamal Adams.

“Jamal is having a great season in my opinion,” Bowles said. “His eyes are better from a study standpoint. It’s not a matter of who he handles or how he handles them, it’s just the matter of him studying and playing his ballgame and doing things he needs to do and he’s been doing that.”

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