AFC Notes: Dolphins, Sam Darnold, Jets, Patriots



  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Dolphins WR Jakeem Grant is week-to-week with a hamstring injury and considered an iffy bet to play against the Patriots this week. 
  • Dolphins HC Brian Flores didn’t have an official status on TE Mike Gesicki‘s injury: “It’s too early to tell. We’re still going through the evaluation process with our medical staff….I talked to him, but I think it’s too early to tell with Mike and some of the other guys who got banged up yesterday.” (Omar Kelly)

Sam Darnold

After coming within five seconds of winning last week, the Jets were blown out from the start against the Seahawks, dropping their record to 0-13 and increasing the probability of an 0-16 season. That would mean a lot of changes, including likely for QB Sam Darnold, who envisioned things going differently when the Jets picked him No. 3 overall two years ago. 

“I love it here,” Darnold said, via “I love the people, I love living here. I’ve always said I want to be a Jet for life, but that decision isn’t necessarily up to me. But that’s how I feel.”

Darnold added that he still believes he’s the right guy for the Jets moving forward. 

“Yeah, I do,” Darnold said. “I believe in myself as a quarterback. Obviously, that decision isn’t up to me, but I’m always going to believe in myself. I have the utmost confidence in myself to go out there and play good football on Sundays.”


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes that if Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh were to get another NFL shot this year, it would be with either the Jets or Bears. Jets owner Woody Johnson has been fascinated with Harbaugh and GM Joe Douglas worked with his brother in Baltimore. 
  • However, Breer says it’s not even close to a sure thing that Harbaugh gets an NFL offer this year. 
  • Jets second-round WR Denzel Mims has returned from his family emergency and should be available to play this week against the Rams. (Hughes)
  • Jets DB Saquan Hampton ruptured his Achilles and is out for the season. (Rich Cimini)


Patriots QB Cam Newton was asked in his weekly radio spot on WEEI about OC Josh McDaniel‘s play-calling. McDaniels has notably been reticent to take the training wheels off the offense, with a dedication to the run that would have been right at home in the 1950s but looks out of place in the NFL in 2020. However, Newton defended McDaniels fervently. 

“One thing that’s not going to happen, and let me be perfectly clear, you’re not about to create any type of division between me and Josh McDaniels,” Newton said via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “There’s been times where, as a player, you kind of bail your coach out because of the plays that you may make. But more times than not, Josh has bailed the whole team out because of his theory and his in-game adjustments. So it’s give and take.

“[For] me to sit up here and throw a person that I admire in Josh under the bus and say, ‘He should have called more passes,’ no I’m not going to do that, man. I’m not going to do that. because I know just as much as the energy that I know goes into me wanting to win, I know Josh shares that same thing. And I know he wants to put this team in the best situation to win. And that’s the only thing you can ask for.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says it’s not hard to see Newton back for another year in New England because the locker room and staff absolutely love what he’s brought to the team. 
  • While Newton hasn’t put up even average passing numbers, Breer points out the lack of talent around him and the scheme could be mitigating factors. 
  • Patriots HC Bill Belichick said “we’re not there right now” in regard to playing both Newton and backup QB Jarrett Stidham with New England nearly eliminated from playoff contention. (Michael Giardi)
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