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If swelling in Sam Darnold’s spleen doesn’t subside, Luke Falk will start for Jets vs. Eagles

Test Friday apparently will determine whether Darnold plays this week.

Eagles defensive end Daeshon Hall sacks New York Jets quarterback Luke Falk in the second quarter of the final preseason game.
Eagles defensive end Daeshon Hall sacks New York Jets quarterback Luke Falk in the second quarter of the final preseason game.Read moreHEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer

The Jets apparently are waiting for a test Friday to see if Sam Darnold’s spleen remains enlarged, before they decide if Darnold will start his comeback from mononucleosis against the Eagles on Sunday at the Linc.

Darnold practiced Thursday but has not been cleared for contact. He won’t be cleared with an enlarged spleen. If he sits, as he did in the last game before the Jets’ bye, a Sept. 22 loss at New England, the starting quarterback will be Luke Falk, a 2018 sixth-round pick of the Titans from Washington State.

The guy who protected Falk’s blind side for most of his time as a Cougar is Eagles first-round rookie tackle Andre Dillard. Last season, Dillard’s college QB was current Jacksonville sensation Gardner Minshew.

Falk was less colorful, apparently.

“He’s always just been a really calm, collected guy. He takes his job very seriously. … He was always a great leader back in college and I guarantee he still is,” Dillard said Thursday.

Minshew, meanwhile, was a sixth-round Jags choice this year, after spending one graduate school season at Washington State, in addition to his career at East Carolina.

Dillard said Minshew, famous for his “porn star” moustache as much as for his 106.9 passer rating in relief of injured Nick Foles, had a full beard accompanying the mustache in the summer of 2018, when he roomed with Dillard and another Cougar.

“The day before fall camp he just shows up with this big mustache. He’s kind of like, ‘Yeah, I’m giving it a go,’ and it just kind of stuck. It kind of became his icon, his little trademark, if you will. People started making all kinds of graphics and coffee cups and signs -- it just became this big thing for him,” Dillard said.

DeSean says no setback

The news that wideout DeSean Jackson (abdomen) won’t practice or play this week, combined with an Instagram post in which Jackson referenced the popular athletic cliche of having “a minor setback for a major comeback,” gave rise to speculation that Jackson had aggravated his injury.

Jackson said Thursday that was not the case, that he continues to rehab without incident. But he said he doesn’t know when he’ll be ready to play again.

Corner Sidney Jones (hamstring), defensive end Derek Barnett (groin), and left tackle Jason Peters (knee) were listed as limited practice participants. Peters was a new entry on the list.

Cornerback Ronald Darby (hamstring), tight end Alex Ellis (knee), defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (foot), and corner Avonte Maddox (neck, concussion) did not practice.

The Eagles gambled at Atlanta with having only Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert on the roster at tight end, then Goedert couldn’t play with a hamstring injury suffered in warmups, killing the plan to run the ball that night with two tight ends. If Ellis can’t play this week, would the Eagles make a roster move to bring up Josh Perkins from the practice squad?