Jets head coach Adam Gase delivered news that Sam Darnold has been diagnosed with mononucleosis, and will not only miss Monday's bout against the Browns, but they're expecting him to be out for some time.
So just how long will that be? Well, Dr. Aaron E. Glatt -- chair of medicine at South Nassau Communities Hospital -- gave his professional opinion on that matter.
"So everybody's different," Glatt told SNY on Thursday. "Individuals may do very, very well. They may feel almost right away. Others take a week or two, sometimes even longer still feeling fatigued, still feeling tired, not having their normal level of energy back to where they normally are at a baseline.
"He will be the better person to tell you [he's] feeling better or not."
It will be Darnold, then, who lets the Jets know when he is feeling better. Glatt added that there are "no diagnostic tests we can do, no laboratory studies, imaging studies" to see how he is progressing in his recovery.
But Glatt does have a major concern that could arise for Darnold: an enlarged spleen. It can be common in mono patients, and being that football is a contact sport, the last thing Darnold should be doing is taking hits if that becomes the case. It would be "life-threatening," as Glatt put it.
"The one major concern for a professional football player would be an enlarged spleen," Glatt said. "Unfortunately, a professional football player is exposed to tremendous contact and can be potentially hit very severely on their spleen. If the spleen is enlarged, as it often is in patients with mono, it is potentially at greater risk for rupture than a normal, healthy person who doesn't have an enlarged spleen. Therefore, we normally recommend patients who have mono abstain from contact sports."
The Jets will need to be extremely cautious, then, that Darnold doesn't have an enlarged spleen before deeming him clear to take hits. Glatt said that X-rays and stenography tests don't always prove a spleen is normal size.
But what about practice? Glatt noted Darnold could feel 100 percent healthy, but still have an enlarged spleen. If he's feeling good enough to practice, he can while wearing a red non-contact jersey.
"As opposed to practicing with the team in a non-contact type of a setting, where he's wearing his red shirt and nobody's going to hit him, then he can probably go back as soon as he feels up for it," Glatt explained.
When he feels up for it, not even Darnold probably knows at the moment. Gase said that he has been losing weight, a common side effect according to Glatt. And, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, he's been "quarantined" to his apartment with the Jets' medical staff waiting to deem him noncontagious before he returns to the team facility.
So Darnold will continue to rest while Trevor Siemian takes over for him under center. Siemian may have to hold that role for a few weeks, but we really can't know for sure. Only Darnold can be the one to tell the Jets he's ready to go, and even that could have an asterisk on it.
The Jets will just keep their fingers crossed and hope their franchise quarterback won't be out for too long.
"Professional football players, in top health, would probably have a faster recovery than somebody who's not in the best of health. But there's no guarantees for that," Glatt said.