Report: Darnold expected to be out 3 to 7 weeks with mono

Look at it this way, Jets fans: at least you got the heartbreak out of the way early this year.

Nobody thought the Jets were going to be Super Bowl contenders this season, but most everyone assumed the team would take a step forward ... as long as Sam Darnold was under center. And then, in the Jetsiest of Jets news possible, Darnold contracted — of all things — mono.

Darnold got the news on Wednesday, and he’d already lost 5 pounds because of the illness. And now, per the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, he will be out for three to seven weeks, which would likely put half the season in the trash for New York.

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Sam Darnold with the New York Jets
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Sam Darnold with the New York Jets
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets walks off the field during the game against the Green Bay Packers in the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 09: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets runs in the pocket during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on December 9, 2018 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) tries to avoid a sack from Houston Texans nose tackle Brandon Dunn during the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold walks down the tunnel to warm up before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) model the NFL football team's new "Gotham green" uniforms Thursday, April 4, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold runs a drill at the team's NFL football training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Michael Owens)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 08: New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) after the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills on September 8, 2019 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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That might seem like an awful lot, particularly if you suffered through a bout of mono back in college, but as former QB Chris Chandler told Yahoo Sports last week, mononucleosis is “a legit, hardcore illness.” Aside from the fatigue that accompanies the illness, there’s the possibility of an enlarged spleen, which is not ideal if you’re on an NFL field.

Darnold will come back just fine in a few weeks, but by then, the Jets’ season could already be over and done.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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