October 11, 2020 | 3:21am
Joe Flacco has not started a game in nearly a year. It only feels like it has been that long since the Jets won a game.
Flacco will get his chance to lead the Jets to their first victory of the season Sunday as he replaces the injured Sam Darnold against the Cardinals. At 0-4, the Jets are desperate for a spark, and maybe Flacco can provide it.
Arizona is coming off of two straight losses, but is viewed as one of the teams on the rise in the NFL. The Jets have not lost to the Cardinals at home since 1975 at Shea Stadium.
This is a chance for Flacco to show he is still a capable NFL quarterback at 35 years old. He only signed a one-year deal with the Jets, so this is an opportunity for him to audition for a 2021 employer.
“I think I’d be lying … if I was to deny that,” Flacco said. “I mean, I want to play quarterback in this league, there’s definitely some truth to that right there. But just like I was talking about before, you don’t want to overdo it in your head and give yourself situations where you’re going to go out there and try to do more than you should do. I got to go out there and just play within the offense and do the best I can for this team and the situation that we’re in right now, and that’s focusing on this week and seeing where it goes from there.”
Darnold sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder. It is unclear how many weeks he will miss and how long Flacco’s tryout will last.
Coach Adam Gase expressed confidence in Flacco this week, saying the veteran looked relaxed. Flacco played briefly last week against the Broncos before Darnold returned to the game. Flacco did not practice at all in training camp as he recovered from neck surgery, so this will be his first extended action since last year, when he played for the Broncos.
The Jets don’t care who is at quarterback. They just need a win.
“We’re in the second quarter of the season,” Gase said. “We’ve got to worry about this week. We learned from what the first four games brought us and we made some mistakes, especially in this last game, that we have to definitely get corrected because it’s non-talent based. We can definitely fix the things that are non-talent based, penalties and errors, things like that. When we have opportunities to do the right thing, we’ll have a different result.”