After suffering from the effects of mono in 2019, New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is doing everything he can to avoid COVID-19.
“For me, I’m just going to stay in my apartment and really just travel from there to here inside the building,” Darnold said via Rich Cimini of ESPN. “That’s going to be it for me. It might be boring, but that’s kind of what I have to do at this point.”
Darnold, 23, knows that illness can derail a season. He faced a fight with mononucleosis in 2019 that cost him four games and likely affected him throughout the 2019 season. In the four games Darnold missed, the Jets went 0-4, while only putting up one offensive touchdown.
The Jets already have two players on the COVID reserve list, rookie cornerback Bryce Hall and undrafted free agent Shyheim Carter. To clarify, that doesn’t mean that Hall and Carter have COVID. It means they could have COVID or they could have been in contact with someone who tested positive.
Either way, neither will be able to attend the beginning of training camp. Darnold doesn’t want to be in that situation, and the Jets can’t put him in that situation.
Darnold’s value to the offense is immense. Without him, the Jets offense likely won’t be able to function, especially early in the season when Joe Flacco likely won’t be medically cleared.
This is also a big year for Darnold. The Jets will have to decide whether or not to pick up his option prior to the start of his fourth season. This is Darnold’s last chance to showcase his talents before general manager Joe Douglas has to make that decision. Getting sick and missing time, for a third straight season, could be a huge blow for Darnold’s contract hopes.