FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Josh McCown is still No. 1 on the New York Jets’ quarterback depth chart, but at this point he might as well be No. 100.

With each practice, it appears increasingly likely that rookie Sam Darnold will be the starter when the regular season kicks off in three weeks. Not that McCown has done anything on the field to hurt his chances of retaining the job. It’s simply a matter of circumstances.

McCown is 39 and has been there, done that. Darnold is 21, was the third overall pick in the draft, has immense talent and is considered the future of the franchise – and that future could be now. He has shined in his last several practices and likely will start Friday night against the Giants in the team’s third preseason game.

“Like I said the whole time, obviously, we traded up to (No.) 3 to draft a quarterback to get Sam because there’s a plan in place,” McCown said. “So we understand that.”

That “plan” has been to give Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater the bulk of the work in the preseason and see how they perform. So far, so good – and that means McCown could slide down the depth chart very soon.

GIANTS: First-round draft pick Saquon Barkley, who strained a hamstring catching a pass out of the backfield last Monday, ran on his own in practice.

The former Penn State running back, drafted No. 2 overall, carried a ball and ran at roughly three-quarter speed Sunday as strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman watched.

BILLS: Buffalo’s offseason-long quarterback competition is down to two players now that AJ McCarron is seeking a second opinion to determine the severity of an injury to his throwing shoulder.

Coach Sean McDermott declined to reveal many details on McCarron’s status except to say the team is still evaluating the injury after initial tests were inconclusive.

COWBOYS: Dallas received the good news it expected after a preseason knee injury to Zack Martin, the highest-paid guard in the NFL.

Two people with knowledge of the diagnosis said Martin has no structural damage in his hyperextended left knee and should be ready for the opener.

Martin was injured in the Cowboys’ 21-13 exhibition loss to Cincinnati on Saturday night.

BROWNS: Wide receiver Josh Gordon was back at practice – as a spectator.

Gordon visited with teammates and Hall of Famer Jim Brown a day after ending his three-week absence from training camp and missing the first two exhibition games to work on his mental health and sobriety. The former Pro Bowler appeared to be in a good mood – and in excellent shape – as he stayed to the side and worked with trainers on his conditioning.

BENGALS: Cincinnati released safety George Iloka, clearing the way for rookie Jessie Bates III to move into a starting role.

Iloka, a seventh-year safety, had been sharing time during preseason games with Bates, a second-round pick out of Wake Forest who was given a chance to win the job at the outset.

CHIEFS: Kansas City signed veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick to a contract for this season that could be worth up to $1.5 million, filling an area of need after an offseason overhaul of its secondary.

The longtime Cowboys cornerback signed a $10 million, two-year deal with Washington in March. He was released Tuesday and visited the Chiefs this past week.


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