Jets quarterback Sam Darnold on not yet returning from mono: 'I want to make sure that I’m safe out there and I'm not going to die'

Adam Hunger/APSam Darnold has missed three games with mono.
  • Sam Darnold will not play Week 5 of the NFL season as he remains sidelined with a case of mono.
  • On Thursday, Darnold said he can’t risk playing with an enlarged spleen from mono, saying, “I want to make sure that I’m safe out there and I’m not going to die.”
  • The Jets are down to third-string quarterback Luke Falk, who will make his second straight start of the season vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold has been sidelined since Week 2 of the NFL season with a case of mono.

This week, Darnold did some light practicing with the team, but on Friday, he was ultimately ruled out of the Jets’ Week 5 contest against the Philadelphia Eagles because he was not medically cleared to play. The symptoms of mono include an enlarged spleen and can last for weeks. Darnold would risk rupturing his spleen if he took a hard hit on the field.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, before being ruled out for the week, Darnold put his status rather bluntly.

“It’s a tough thing, because you want to stay safe. I want to make sure that I’m safe out there and I’m not going to die,” Darnold said.

The illness has delayed what many expected to be a season of growth for the second-year quarterback and the upstart Jets. The Jets have started the season 0-3.

Jets head coach Adam Gase said on Thursday the team has been in constant communication with Darnold, checking in on how he’s feeling.

“There’s a lot of communication going on with him,” Gase said. “It’s constant. We’re checking with him: How are you feeling? Are you tired? What’s your conditioning like? We keep talking to him. We keep watching him.”

On Friday, he said Darnold simply wasn’t ready.

“The labs didn’t come back the way we were hoping,” Gase said. “I know Sam is disappointed, but we’ll be able to adjust and work quickly.”

Second-string quarterback Trevor Siemian suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 while filling in for Darnold. Third-string quarterback Luke Falk will make his second straight start in Week 5. He has not yet thrown for a touchdown in 47 passing attempts.

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