Sam Darnold preparing to start for Jets, but making sure he's 'not going to die'

Sam Darnold dealt with mononucleosis, and one of the effects can be an enlarged spleen. Needless to say, that can be a problem in a violent game.

The New York Jets quarterback could return in Week 5. He has been working in practice. He said he feels good. He’ll wear extra padding.

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But one quote summed up why he doesn’t want to rush back.

“I want to make sure I’m safe out there and that, you know, I’m not going to die,” Darnold said in a news conference, via the AP.

Yeah, that’s a good plan.

Sam Darnold feeling better

The good news for Darnold is that he said he has felt good in practice and is preparing as if he’ll be the starter on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I feel I’m good enough to play,” Darnold said.

He said he’ll wear extra padding around his ribs if he does play. Darnold acknowledged that the medical staff will have the final decision and he’ll need to be cleared.

After missing a couple games though, it’s good news Darnold is this close to playing after the Jets’ Week 4 bye.

Jets need their QB back

The Jets have been awful without Darnold. It didn’t help that Trevor Siemian suffered a season-ending leg injury in Week 2 and the Jets had to turn to Luke Falk, who had never played in an NFL game.

At 0-3, the Jets are in a deep hole to start the season. Darnold might not be able to save them, even if he does return on Sunday.

But the Jets will be much more watchable once Darnold, the third pick of last year’s draft can return. As long as he’s healthy enough to play.

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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Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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