Sam Darnold
(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold returns to the practice field for the first time since his surprising mono diagnosis.

Robby Sabo

FLORHAM PARK, NJ—A sight to behold, Sam Darnold has officially hit the practice field. The franchise youngster returned to the New York Jets Florham Park field for the first time since his surprising mono diagnosis following Week 1.

There’s just one big-time caveat; Darnold is wearing the red non-contact jersey.

Interestingly, red isn’t something usually practiced by the Jets. During training camp, head coach Adam Gase revealed why his quarterbacks never sport the color red. Due to a tradition started by Peyton Manning in Denver, Gase’s quarterbacks never wear red as it’s the entire team’s understanding they cannot touch the quarterbacks regardless.

Why distinguish the quarterback from the rest of the team? They’re football players, too.

On Wednesday, however, there he was, all draped in undignified red.

While Darnold’s practice routine is described as “full,” Gase, prior to practice, informed the media his QB will undergo more tests on Friday.

On Monday, the obvious nature of Gase’s frustration with the situation was on full display. He may have expected Darnold to be full-go. Instead, the Jets week will be about tests and monitoring.

Understandably, the organization is remaining protective of Darnold’s medical information. For that, his status for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles remains in serious doubt.

“Just continuing what I’ve been doing,” Darnold said on Monday. “(I’m just) following doctors’ orders, staying on track with everything, nothing really more, nothing less. (I’m going to) continue to get better and do what they (doctors) say.”

At the very least, good news has arrived: team doctors have cleared the kid for non-contact activities. Stay tuned as per Sam Darnold’s status for the team’s all-important Week 5 matchup in Philly.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]