Sam Darnold’s status versus Bills opens door for Giants castoff

The quarterback picture for Sunday’s Jets-Bills game cleared up Saturday afternoon.

Buffalo announced its expected starter as Matt Barkley, who just signed with the Bills on Oct. 31. He has not started a game since 2016 with the Bears. The Bills ruled Josh Allen out, and chose Barkley over Nathan Peterman.

The Jets signed Davis Webb off the practice squad, meaning Sam Darnold (strained right foot) will not even suit up for the game. Jets coach Todd Bowles did not rule out having Darnold serve as the backup quarterback this week, but apparently decided against that.

Webb, the former third-round Giants draft pick, will be active for the first time this season.

The Jets put tight end Neal Sterling on injured reserve to clear the roster spot. Sterling has suffered multiple concussions this year.

There may not be a Jets player more eager to get on the field Sunday than wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.

He has spent the week thinking about what went wrong in Miami for him when he dropped two passes and lost track of where he was on the field on another, catching it out of bounds.

“I’m excited to get back on the field,” Kearse said. “I’m human. We have tough games. I’m not perfect. Were there some things I wish I would have done differently, like not step out of bounds? It was just bad football by me right there.”

Some fans have an idea that Kearse was not trying hard against the Dolphins, which is ridiculous. Since arriving in a trade from Seattle before last season, Kearse has been one of the hardest workers and most professional players inside the Jets locker room.

But Kearse will admit this season has not gone the way he hoped. He has 22 catches for 215 yards and has yet to reach the end zone this year. He said he feels like the Dolphins game made him reset things and he is looking forward to a strong finish.

“After that game, I really had to sit down with myself and kind of go back to the basics and go back to why I play this game and what makes me enjoy this game,” Kearse said. “Sometimes you have to reset. That was just something I had to do and I’m feeling great.”

Kearse said he expects to return to form now.

“There were just some frustrating things that I was kind of dealing with and lingered through this first half,” Kearse said. “I’m just getting back to having fun back there and enjoying playing and being me. I haven’t feel like I’ve been completely me but I feel like I’m back. I feel good.”

Expect a big role for running back Elijah McGuire in the offense now that he is back from a foot injury. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates spoke glowingly of him this week.

“I was really fired up about him last year,” Bates said. “For a young kid, he’s a true pro. He reminds me of Kevin Faulk as far as just understanding the game. He’s a special player and he loves the game. He played basketball in college, so he knows how to get open — knows how to move defenders. We’re just really excited about having him and I thought he played really well [against Miami].”

Jets OT Brandon Shell was fined $10,036 for his late hit on Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso last week.

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