FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sam Darnold underwent medical tests Thursday night. The Jets’ franchise quarterback didn’t pass. So he can’t play. And he felt sick over that.
He just isn’t ready to return from his bout with mono. Darnold will have to miss his third straight game Sunday when the Jets play at Philadelphia.
“I felt bad for [him],” Adam Gase said after making the announcement before practice Friday. “Like when we told him, of course the first thing he says is, ‘I feel like I’m letting the other guys down.’ It’s not about him … He did everything the doctors told him to do. It just didn’t work out for him.”
So Luke Falk will start for the second straight game. David Fales was re-signed to be the backup for the second straight game. Gase expressed some optimism that Darnold will be ready to play a week from Sunday when Dallas visits MetLife Stadium.
“I know Sam’s disappointed, but we’re able to adjust and work quickly,” Gase said. “Our guys have done a good job with any kind of changes that we’ve had to make.”
They’re still off to a bad beginning at 0-3. Darnold only played in the opener against Buffalo before being diagnosed with the illness. Trevor Siemian started Week 2 against Cleveland and suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Falk relieved him and then started Week 3 at New England. The offense has three points to show for those last two games and just 11 overall.
The Jets had a bye last week and really hoped Darnold would be ready for the Eagles game. He practiced Wednesday and Thursday, although he wasn’t cleared for contact. Then he underwent those tests.
“The labs didn’t come back the way we were hoping,” Gase said.
Darnold’s spleen became enlarged, and a hit on an enlarged spleen could cause a life-threatening rupture. Darnold said Thursday that he wanted to be safe and make sure, “I’m not going to die.”
“It’s close, but it’s not where it needs to be,” Gase said.
Leonard Williams said the team’s morale didn’t take a hit over the Darnold news.
“We were definitely hopeful when he first came out to practice, seeing him back out there getting back into the groove of things,” the defensive lineman said. “But at the same time, we definitely don’t want to rush him.”
This will be Falk’s third NFL game. The second-year pro was 12-for-22 for 98 yards and got sacked five times against the Patriots after going 20-for-25 for 198 yards against the Browns.
“I’m sad for Sam that he’s got to go through this another week,” Falk said. “But I’m excited for my opportunity.”
Notes & quotes: Linebacker Jordan Jenkins (calf) is also out. Left guard Kelechi Osemele (shoulder/knee) and linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) are doubtful. Receivers Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) and Josh Bellamy (shoulder), tight end Dan Brown (ankle) and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (ankle) are questionable … Linebacker/defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers (undisclosed) was placed on injured reserve.