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Sam Darnold expected to start in Week 12

Jets QB Sam Darnold is making progress in his return from a shoulder injury. We break down what happens in Week 12.

Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets attempts a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during their NFL game at Arrowhead Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Friday update: Head coach Adam Gase said Darnold will start on Sunday barring a Friday setback, per Brian Costello.

Thursday update: Darnold was upgraded to full participation on Thursday, which is a strong trend. He is on track to start this Sunday against the Dolphins.

The New York Jets return to practice on Wednesday to begin preparations for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, and they are getting some good news. Quarterback Sam Darnold will be a limited participant in practice, marking his first participation in practice since injuring his shoulder in Week 8.

Darnold has been a DNP each week since the injury, but “will do quite a bit at practice today,” per Brian Costello. Head coach Adam Gase told the media the team will limit some of Darnold’s extra throwing he might do during special teams periods, but he is trending in the right direction.

Joe Flacco has been starting in his place and the team has struggled to get much of anything going. They remain on pace for a winless season, but getting Darnold back would offer some kind of upgrade. Additionally, with Trevor Lawrence potentially in their sights with the No. 1 pick in the draft, getting Darnold playing time offers them a final evaluation while also potentially giving opposing scouts a chance to get a look at home and maybe get some trade chatter going leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft.