Jets QB Darnold (mono) getting closer to return

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold returned to practice Wednesday but hasn’t been cleared for contact as he continues his recovery from mononucleosis.

Coach Adam Gase told reporters that Darnold would take part in drills with the first unit, but his status for Sunday’s game at Philadelphia remains up in the air.

“We’re not allowed to hit him yet, which we shouldn’t have that problem in practice. … No one’s going to touch him today, I promise you that,” Gase said.

Darnold was diagnosed with mono after the Jets’ Week 1 loss to Buffalo and so far has missed two games for the Jets (0-3). QB Luke Falk will be ready to go if Darnold isn’t, Gase said.

“We have to be flexible in practice,” Gase said. “We’ll start going and see how it goes. The good thing about Falk being as sharp as he is, he’ll get reps in practice. We have some changes in practice where we’re doing more reps.”

The decision on whether Darnold will play could be made at game time on Sunday.

“If it doesn’t look right, then we’ll go in a different direction,” Gase said. “The communication with him, with the doctors, with the coaches — a lot of people will be involved in this conversation. It’s going to take all of us really checking our boxes, saying we’re OK with this, including Sam.”

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)