Sam Darnold momentarily returned to the bench during the Jets' 33-0 loss to New England Monday night.
The ESPN broadcast soon captured Darnold, who threw four interceptions against the Patriots, saying that he's seeing "ghosts." As expected in today's digital age, Darnold's comments spread across social media and the Jets' franchise quarterback was the topic of the postgame conversation.
Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy was in disbelief when he was told Darnold made the reference — noting the Patriots' nickname for their defense is "The Boogeymen."
Darnold's casual conversation displayed across millions of viewers didn't sit well with the Jets, especially running back Le'Veon Bell.
According to Article 51, Section 13 of the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, "NFL Films will be permitted to put microphones on any players that NFL Films selects. During the regular season each starting quarterback will be required to wear a microphone at least once, and no player will be required to wear a microphone for this purpose more than four times during the course of any regular season."
NFL Films signed off on Darnold's comment to be aired, according to The New York Daily News' Manish Mehta. ESPN requested that Darnold would be mic'd up for the matchup and the network aired the conversation the moment it received approval from NFL officials.
Jets head coach Adam Gase expressed his frustration with how the situation played out.
"I don’t know how we can allow our franchise quarterback to be put out there like that,” Gase told reporters on Tuesday, via The New York Post's Brian Costello.