Jets quarterback Sam Darnold had a rough second season physically, so rough that he needed surgery this week.
Darnold underwent a procedure Tuesday to repair a ligament in his left thumb, according to sources. The procedure was performed by the Jets team doctors, and he is not expected to miss any time this offseason, sources said.
Darnold dealt with the thumb injury for the final two months of the season. He originally injured it in a loss to the Jaguars on Oct. 27. Darnold scrambled and was hit and injured the thumb as he hit the ground. He wore a brace under a glove on the non-throwing hand for the rest of the season. It was noticeable on some handoffs because he had to use two hands.
The procedure is similar to the one former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had performed in 2015 when he tore a ligament in his left thumb. Fitzpatrick was able to play nine days after having the surgery, showing the recovery time is minimal.
Darnold took a pounding this year behind an injury-plagued offensive line. At various times he had injuries to his thumb, knee and ribs. He also missed three games after being diagnosed with mononucleosis in September.
The 22-year-old played 13 games, going 7-6. He completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 3,024 yards, 19 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. He had a QB rating of 84.3. Darnold played much better in the final two months of the season after struggling for a stretch in October when he returned from mono.
Darnold said he was unsure if he would need surgery when he met with reporters the day after the Jets season ended. He said he would need more tests to determine whether surgery was needed. The doctors apparently felt surgery was the way to go.
Darnold typically takes a few weeks off and then begins working with his private quarterback coach Jordan Palmer in California. Since the surgery was on his non-throwing hand, he should still be able to do his normal work. He cannot work with Jets coaches again until April when the collective bargaining agreement allows the team to begin its offseason workouts.