FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Sam Darnold said he has “full confidence” that he will be back for Week 5, but he and the Jets are going to be cautious because of the “life-and-death” risks associated with having mono.
Darnold’s spleen is enlarged, which can occur in patients with this illness. If he gets hit hard, Darnold’s spleen could rupture.
“The spleen is the main issue,” Darnold said Wednesday. “It’s enlarged right now, and I know it needs to get a little bit smaller for me to play.”
Darnold said that will be the final test before he’s able to resume playing after being diagnosed with mono last week.
“I didn’t know at the time with the spleen,” Darnold said. “But obviously after the doctors telling me it was very obvious that I wouldn’t be able to play in a couple of weeks because it is life-and-death situation if I do.”
If Darnold plays Oct. 6 against the Eagles, he will have returned in less than four weeks. He looked a little run down and lighter, but he said he’s feeling “way better” and believes he'll be on the field in Philadelphia.
" I have full confidence that I’ll be ready for the Eagles game," Darnold said. “I’m not going to promise anything. I don’t know where exactly this mono this is going. But that’s the goal that the doctors have set and that’s the goal that I have set the game to be back for.”
Darnold was back at practice for the first time Wednesday. He can only watch and sit in on team meetings. He won’t travel to the Jets game Sunday at New England.
The Jets have their bye after the Patriots. Darnold said the plan is for him to start doing some conditioning work and light running during the bye, and the hope is he will be able to practice in full the following week and return against Philadelphia.
“I think it’s realistic,” Adam Gase said. “We’re at the mercy of what the doctors tell us. They’re going to do what’s right by him. This is something that is serious. If his spleen bursts we got a problem. We got to make sure he’s right and safe to be able to play.”
New backup QB
The Jets signed free agent David Fales to back up Luke Falk Sunday. Fales, 28, has worked with Gase in Chicago and Miami. Gase wanted someone who knew his system so he could step in if anything happens to Falk. Fales is 31-for-48 for 287 yards with one touchdown and one interception in three NFL games. He was in training camp with the Detroit Lions this summer. To make room for Fales, the Jets placed Trevor Siemian on IR. He suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Monday’s loss to the Browns and will require surgery.