Adam Gase: Sam Darnold needs to keep playing

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It took three weeks for the Jets to field questions about whether their head coach should be fired or if they should bench quarterback Sam Darnold.

Darnold was 17-of-29 for 168 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions in Sunday’s 36-7 loss to the Colts and the team has looked increasingly lost offensively over the first three weeks of the season. On Monday, Gase said it’s “always a tough decision” to make about a struggling quarterback while adding that his decision is to stay the course.

“He just needs to keep playing,” Gase said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. “He needs to keep playing and keep fixing the mistakes that are made and really emphasize the things he’s doing really well, and just keep building on those. . . . Every snap he takes in a real game, they’re so valuable. They’re learning experiences. You have to go through tough situations sometimes.”

The lack of a viable alternative to Darnold may factor into any call. Joe Flacco has not been active for a game yet and has only practiced for a week or so, which has left Mike White to hold down No. 2 duties.

A backup would also have to deal with an injury-riddled roster that makes a difficult job even harder, so there aren’t a lot of good answers for the offensive predicament the Jets find themselves in at the moment.