September 25, 2021

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Jets QB Sam Darnold has one hurdle left to play…

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Jets QB Sam Darnold has one hurdle left to play...

It sounds more and more likely Sam Darnold will play Sunday, if he gets medically cleared Friday.

That’s still a significant hurdle to overcome for the Jets’ second-year quarterback, but he passed a significant one Wednesday by returning to practice on a non-contact basis in a red jersey. Darnold has missed the past two games after being diagnosed with mononucleosis,

“As far as what he looked like, he looked good,” coach Adam Gase said Thursday. “He looked normal, but it’s all going to be about test results.”

Darnold was technically limited Wednesday, but Gase said Darnold did a lot. He received most of the first-team reps and there was no hint of fatigue or lack of strength that can sometimes be a factor for someone recovering from mono.

“You can tell when a guy gets really exhausted to a point when you throw it will look different, drops will look different,” Gase said. “You can see fatigue if [it’s there]. We didn’t see that [Wednesday]. [Thursday] might be different. That’s why it’s good to go through all this.”

If Friday’s checkup goes well and Darnold’s spleen is no longer enlarged, then the Jets will confer with everyone from Gase to general manager Joe Douglas, Darnold, doctors and trainers. Everyone will have to sign off on it. But if the quarterback is told he’s not in any danger of injury, it looks as if he will be active.

“If they tell us he can go, you can tell him not to play,” Gase said with a smile. “It’s not going to go well. We’ll see what happens. We’ll know sooner than later.”

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