New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold plans on playing this week as long as his spleen is no longer enlarged.
The New York Jets have been without Sam Darnold since Week 1 due to, what feels like a cruel joke, mono. The team is 0-3 and down to third-string quarterback Luke Falk serving as the placeholder starter.
Darnold has been cleared for non-contact work, but has still not been approved to take hits yet, as his enlarged spleen could still burst. That puts his week five (Sunday, Oct. 6, p.m. ET, @ Philadelphia Eagles, CBS) in doubt.
Week 5 was always the earliest he would be able to return, and he has previously stated that he feels better.
Per ESPN’s Rich Cimini (via Twitter), Darnold told Michael Kay on his radio show that he plans to play, although it obviously is contingent on him getting clearance from the medical staff.
Darnold on @TMKSESPN: "Right now, I'm saying there's a good chance (I play), just because of how I feel, but there's no telling if my spleen is going to go down. If it is where it is + I can't play, obviously, that's not up to me…But right now, I'm planning on playing." #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) September 30, 2019
“Right now, I’m saying there’s a good chance, just because of how I feel, but there’s no telling if my spleen is going to go down. If it is where it is and I can’t play, obviously that’s not up to me, but right now I’m planning on playing.”
While Darnold would be a welcome addition to a team trying to dig themselves out of an 0-3 hole, it won’t make a huge difference unless he can block pass rushers while throwing the ball as well.
The offensive line has been atrocious through three games, and that’s a much larger reason that the offense has struggled than any limitation from Falk or Trevor Siemian.
However, there’s no doubt that when (if) the offensive line gets it together, Darnold is the best quarterback on the team. Darnold won’t be the cure for all that ails the team, but he is talented enough to lead them to wins if the line can figure out their blocking scheme.