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Friday, July 10, 2020

Sam Darnold ‘not a lock’ to play in Week 5

Sam Darnold

The New York Jets have a bye this week and are hoping to have Sam Darnold back under center when they return to action, but the quarterback will still need clearance from doctors before that is possible.

Darnold was diagnosed with mononucleosis earlier in the month, and his timeline for recovery has been uncertain. Mono results in enlargement of the spleen, which could be an obstacle for Darnold. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen noted on Sunday that doctors will have to check Darnold’s spleen to make sure it is no longer enlarged, otherwise he will not be cleared for contact.

If Darnold played with an enlarged spleen, he would run the risk of rupturing it. Doctors are not going to let him put himself in that position.

Jets head coach Adam Gase said earlier in the week that he is hopeful Darnold will return in Week 5, but that is clearly not a guarantee. Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian suffered a season-ending injury in his first start after Darnold’s diagnosis, so third-stringer Luke Falk is currently leading New York’s offense.

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