New York Jets' Sam Darnold to start Sunday in return after mono

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold has been cleared to return to play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will start, the team announced.

Darnold has been out since the second week of the season after being diagnosed with mono. It was feared that Darnold could have been out for about eight weeks but he appeared at practice last week prior to the Jets’ blowout loss against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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“I feel good. Energy’s awesome,” Darnold told ESPN New York’s “The Michael Kay Show” on Monday prior to his official clearance. “Just looking to play this week, but [have to] wait for the doctor’s orders tomorrow. I’m excited to hear the news, I have a feeling it’s going to be good news.

“I thought maybe it would come last week, but had to wait it out again. Hopefully this week it’s better news and I get to practice and get ready for a game on Sunday.”

Darnold was at the helm during the Jets’ first game of the season against the Buffalo Bills. The Jets lost the game 17-16 and have lost every game since then.

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Jets coach Adam Gase said Monday the team still has to get better even with Darnold’s return.

“It’s probably more than just Sam getting out there,” he said. “We have a lot of other things to clean up. Sam is able to hide things sometimes for us, where if we make a mistake, he covers it up. I think we just need to do a better job as a group making sure that all 11 are on the same page.”

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In Darnold’s absence, the Jets have used Trevor Siemian and Luke Falk as the quarterbacks. Siemian was injured in his first game against the Cleveland Browns and Falk has not been the player the Jets thought could have got the job done in Darnold’s absence.