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Why Sam Darnold Can't Just 'Tough It Out' and Play Through His Mono Ailment

New York Jets v Jacksonville Jaguars
Dr. David Choi: “Obviously, the Jets want Sam Darnold to play and they need him to play but there is the issue of the spleen and safety. He’s been cleared to practice but has not been cleared for contact. If the spleen is enlarged and comes below the rib cage he’s at risk for a spleen laceration if he takes a hit. That’s what they're waiting on medically and cannot be rushed. Even when you come back from Mono, there’s the energy level and the fitness. We hear of kids dropping out of college for the quarter from Mono, this is the NFL.” (Full Audio at Bottom of Page)

Listen to former NFL team doctor Dr. David Choi join Outkick The Coverage to explain to Clay Travis the tricky diagnosis concerning the common disease ‘Infectious mononucleosis’ known colloquially as ‘Mono’.

Mono is a virus mostly relegated to children and young adults, and is prominently known as an ailment that can cause incredible feelings of fatigue and malaise for weeks and sometimes even months.

The most commonly affected individuals are people between the ages of 15-24, which is why the disease has rarely ever made its way onto NFL injury reports, however, Sam Darnold is one of the league’s young quarterbacks, still just 22 years old.

Darnold hasn’t played since Week 1, and has missed Week 2 and Week 3, including their Week 4 bye, and is doubtful to play in their Week 5 gave versus the Eagles.

So why can’t Darnold simply tough it out and get back onto the field to save the Jets season? Some have even mentioned Michael Jordan’s notorious ‘Flu Game’ as the type of heroic performance that Darnold should be emulating.

Well, Choi explains it’s not that simple. For one, mono is highly contagious, which would put the entire Jets locker room at risk for contracting the disease, and two, one of the main symptoms of mono is an enlarged spleen, which would then become a huge liability for Darnold should he take any hits to the midsection, and possibly rupture his spleen.

Check out the full audio below.

Why Sam Darnold Can't Just Play Through His Mono Ailment