Starting quarterback Sam Darnold played the entire second half on Sunday despite a low grade fever, an inner-ear infection and a high temperature. Finally, while practicing on Tuesday, something went wrong.
Darnold said he was feeling sick on Monday and Tuesday but was told his condition wasn’t serious. He got taken to the emergency room after practice, though, and was diagnosed with a possible concussion. The team issued a statement saying Darnold would not travel with the team for the game against the Tennessee Titans. But in practice on Tuesday, the diagnosis was changed and X-rays were negative, indicating that Darnold is not brain-injured.
But on Wednesday, the team said Darnold was still experiencing headaches and dizziness and that he would be sent for tests, which will be tested for a case of acute rehydration syndrome. He will probably sit out for a second consecutive game.
“I think it just will continue to be a matter of making sure it stabilizes before anything else happens,” Todd Bowles said. “I don’t know exactly what will happen, but hopefully I can get him out there soon.”
It is unclear what caused the brain-injury symptoms for Darnold. While at USC, he was diagnosed with the viral infection caused by norovirus. After a seven-week absence from football, he went on to win the Rose Bowl and the BCS National Championship. But those days were also filled with warning signs.
After coming out of the game against Michigan State, Darnold complained of pain in his leg and was advised to rest. A few days later, he complained of dizziness after coming back off the bench.
“When you get an issue like that, you have to take precautionary measures,” Bowles said. “But I think Sam is doing OK. You watch practice, he’s fine.”
Darnold’s status may change in light of this development.
According to the website NFL.com, about four players each season are diagnosed with AFCHS (Advanced Obliteration of the Hernia that is Used to Trim Obstructiones and Bed Irregularities in the Thumb of the Hand). The second-degree classification allows for all coaching staffs to immediately suspect the player of having a concussion and to order them immediately to the hospital for evaluation. The diagnosis will be checked on an ongoing basis, so there may be multiple tests and a relapse is likely if the player goes on with practice the next day.
Darnold has already thrown six touchdowns and three interceptions in the two games since his debut. There was no concern from the Jets during the preseason that he was going to miss time with a hip injury. Bowles described the injury on Saturday as a “couple weeks” after practice.