sam darnold jets
(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold thought his mono diagnosis, once first revealed, was a joke. He quickly realized it wasn’t.

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold announced his return to NFL action with authority. With CBS’s Jim Nantz and Tony Romo on-hand, calling the game, the youngster with the hope of an entire organization on his right arm threw all over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6.

Over 300 yards and two touchdowns later helped the Jets to a stunning 24-22 victory over those Boys.

Of course, No. 14 missed the previous three contests thanks to a diagnosis of mononucleosis. While it’s happened in professional sports previously, an adult athlete coming down with mono is still pretty rare.

It’s so rare Darnold actually thought it was a joke when his coaches broke the bad news.

“What happened was (Adam) Gase and Dowell (Loggains) came over and wanted to tell me themselves, but I was just at my apartment because they sent me home early for the day,” Darnold revealed to ESPN. “I thought I had strep (throat) and they just didn’t want me around the guys. So I was in my apartment just hanging out and they called me and told me they had the gameplan for me and wanted me to take a look at it. So I went downstairs to get it, and they both had really stoic looks on their faces. I felt like something was up. They told me I had mono and I immediately started laughing. I thought they were joking. And obviously it wasn’t a joke.

Gase and Loggains appeared to have tricked their quarterback into coming downstairs and leaving the comfort of his own apartment (obviously, with tremendous intentions).

“The first people I called were my parents, to let them know,” Darnold said. “My immediate thoughts were, ‘OK, what are the steps I can take to get back as fast as I can?’. I thought I would play the Philly week, but obviously that didn’t happen.”

The USC product also revealed the time off really allowed him to fully appreciate the game. To pass the time, he caught up on many television shows.

On the locker room front, it appears as though his teammates took it easy.

“The guys mainly stayed away from the jokes,” Darnold said. “But the things they did say I can’t really repeat on television.”

Darnold and the Jets look to improve to 2-4 when the New England Patriots come to MetLife Stadium for Monday Night Football in Week 7 action. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN.

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]