There are many things the Jets should be worried about this week when facing the Eagles. The chance that Sam Darnold may die seems like an odd one to focus on.
The Jets quarterback has been preparing as if he’ll be starting Sunday in Philadelphia despite dealing with an enlarged spleen as he recovers from a bout with mononucleosis. Darnold has been a limited participant in practice, according to the Jets’ official injury report. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll play as the second-year signal-caller still needs clearance from team doctors. However, he has looked nimble and been throwing the ball around with ease.
Darnold, who hasn’t been able to get the normal cardio workout in for several weeks, seems confident he can go — aside from a few bizarre comments he made regarding this week’s opponent. The 22-year-old sounded a bit squeamish (read: scared) on facing the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
“It’s a tough thing because you want to stay safe,” Darnold told reporters Thursday, via the Jets official website. “I want to make sure that I’m safe out there and I’m not going to die.”
On the more serious side, Darnold has to be careful not to be hit too hard. His spleen could burst. Consider him 50-50 (at best) to play. Backup Luke Falk would draw the start if the Jets (wisely) err on the side of caution.
“I feel really good. During practice I have a lot of energy,” Darnold said. “I feel everything is clicking for me. I’m seeing the plays. I feel like I’m good enough to play. Everything’s got to be right for me to play.”
Jeremy Maclin Honorary Captain at Sunday’s Game
Jeremy Maclin’s tenure in Philadelphia was cut short mainly due to a rash of unexpected injuries, including a bone bruise, a lymphoma scare and a torn ACL. The Eagles let him go in free agency following the 2014 season and he followed former head coach Andy Reid out to Kansas City when he signed a five-year, $55 million contract.
Maclin was always beloved by Eagles fans and remembered for his exceptional hands. He racked up 343 receptions for 4,771 yards in five years in midnight green with 36 touchdowns. The team will honor the wide receiver Sunday with an on-field celebration as an honorary captain. Maclin announced his retirement from the NFL on March 14, 2019 after eight years of NFL service.
The 31-year-old penned a heartfelt letter for PhiladelphiaEagles.com where he thanked Eagles fans for allowing him to grow up in the City of Brotherly Love. He also promised not to cry during the festivities at Lincoln Financial Field.
Philly just gives you that feeling. It’s going to be the first time I’m back at Lincoln Financial Field since I left, and that place is special. It holds a special place in my heart and always will.
I love you, Eagles fans. I appreciated you all six years I was there, and I still appreciate you all now more than you could ever know. I appreciate everything. I appreciate the support and I appreciate the criticism, too. It comes with the territory and I think it all made me who I am today.
The Eagles battle the Jets at 1 p.m. Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. Fans are advised to get in their seats early to see Maclin at midfield before kickoff. It will also be the first opportunity for everyone to cheer on Jason Kelce as a proud new dad.
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