Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jets’ QB Darnold is cleared to play

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Sam Darnold’s spleen is fully healthy and he'll be back under center as the struggling New York Jets' starting quarterbac­k.

Darnold was cleared by physicians Tuesday to play this week after he missed three games while recovering from mononucleo­sis. He had medical tests to determine if the swelling in his spleen – a common symptom of the illness – had dissipated enough for him to play again. The Jets announced in a Twitter post that Darnold would start Sunday at home against Dallas.

It's some rare good news for the Jets, who are 0-4 – their worst start since 2003 – while dealing with several injuries to key players. And Darnold's illness is at the top of the list.

The team was optimistic last week that Darnold would be able to play at Philadelph­ia, which was the initial goal for his return. Darnold took first-team snaps last Wednesday and Thursday, but an ultrasound and blood test last Thursday night revealed he was not yet able to be fully cleared. So Luke Falk – on one day of full reps with the firstteam offense – started his second straight game for New York.

The Jets lost, 31-6, and Falk was sacked nine times and had two turnovers returned for touchdowns while New York struggled to get anything going on offense. That has been a common theme during Darnold's absence, with Adam Gase’s offense ranking at or near the bottom of the league in several categories. New York has just 233 yards of total offense in its last two games combined.

Rudolph remains in concussion protocol: Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said quarterbac­k Mason Rudolph “appears to be doing fine” but remains in the concussion protocol following an illegal hit by Baltimore safety Earl Thomas.

Rudolph left last weekend's overtime loss to Baltimore in the third quarter after Thomas hit Rudolph in the chin with his helmet. Rudolph was knocked unconsciou­s on the play but was able to slowly make his way off the field. Tomlin made it a point to say Rudolph was cleared by medical personnel to walk off under his own power.

Rudolph went to a hospital for evaluation before being cleared to go home. Rudolph was at the team's facility on Monday, but Tomlin declined to give a timetable on Rudolph's potential availabili­ty against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Rookie undrafted free agent Devlin Hodges will start at quarterbac­k if Rudolph is unable to play.

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