Jets' Sam Darnold Says He Won't Worry About COVID-19 When NFL Facilities Open

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2020

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
David Dermer/Associated Press

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold trusts those in authority positions will make the right decisions when it comes to returning to football amid COVID-19 concerns.

He appeared on The Michael Kay Show (h/t Rich Cimini of ESPN) and said he believes the authorities will "do their due diligence and make sure we're safe coming back. As long as we're allowed to be in the facility and be practicing and be playing games, I'm not going to be worried about it."

Darnold missed three games last year, all New York losses, when he was sidelined by mononucleosis and eventually returned to throw for 3,024 yards, 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions for a Jets team that finished with a 7-9 record.

The quarterback's comments come after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke to Peter King of Football Morning in America about the possibility of football returning by the fall.

While he made it clear "the virus will make the decision for us" and said there needs to be an increase in testing availability to play games, he also called it "feasible" the season could happen in empty stadiums.

Still, Fauci cautioned that "if people are in such close contact as football players are on every single play, then that's the perfect set up for spreading" and said it would be "malpractice in medicine" to play anyone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

For now, the NFL is still planning on holding its season that is scheduled to start in September, although there may need to be some adjustments depending on developments in the coming months.

The league has already held its draft virtually and canceled a number of offseason activities in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Darnold's Jets are scheduled to start the season Sept. 13 against the Buffalo Bills in an AFC East showdown.