Sam Darnold to play with custom padding to protect his spleen
Sam Darnold has finally been cleared for contact after he missed several weeks while recovering from mononucleosis, but the New York Jets quarterback will still be taking extra precaution when he suits up against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network explained Friday that Darnold has been fitted with custom shoulder pads that will provide added protection for his spleen, which is an organ that becomes enlarged when you have mono. The pads are similar to ones Cam Newton wears.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 11, 2019
Darnold has been feeling better for quite some time, but doctors could not clear him to play until his spleen returned to its normal size. Otherwise, there would have been a risk of it rupturing during a game, and Darnold already spoke quite openly about the worst case scenario.
The fact that Darnold has been cleared means doctors are confident he is not at risk, but it can’t hurt to have added protection. After they were forced to start Luke Falk in their previous two games, the Jets are hoping Darnold can give their offense a major boost.