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Sam Darnold Cleared to Play This Week

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 08:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)   Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets in action against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on September 08, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  The Bills defeated the Jets 17-16. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Sam Darnold going down with mono was a very weird early-season storyline that nobody expected. It is now in the past, as the Jets announced their young quarterback has been cleared to play this week.

If anything, Darnold's absence made it abundantly clear how much this team needs Darnold to even resemble a professional football team. Luke Falk and (briefly) Trevor Siemian weren't going to get the job done, and defenses were stacking boxes against Le'Veon Bell like no other back in the league.

This won't automatically turn New York's season around, but it's a good start. Unfortunately, Darnold will be thrown into the fire almost immediately, as New York will host a hungry Cowboys team who will hear a lot of criticism in the upcoming days. It's a huge game for Adam Gase and Darnold.