Sam Darnold started the Jets’ season opener in each of the last three seasons. Now, he will be facing them in Week 1.
The Jets will open the season at 1 p.m. on Sept. 12 in Carolina against the Panthers and Darnold, whom the Jets traded to Carolina last month.
It will be the debut of Jets coach Robert Saleh, and also is expected to be the first start for rookie quarterback Zach Wilson.
All of that will be overshadowed by the matchup with Darnold, though. The Jets took the 23-year-old with the No. 3 overall pick in 2018 to be their franchise quarterback. Things did not go smoothly in his three years with the Jets, and general manager Joe Douglas decided to move on.
He traded Darnold to the Panthers for three draft picks, including a 2022 second-round pick on April 6. The Jets then drafted Wilson to replace Darnold with the No. 2 overall pick in last month’s 2021 NFL Draft.
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