Not only did Jets quarterback Sam Darnold have mononucleosis -- New York's second-year starter also had strep throat.
Darnold told Albert Breer of The MMQB early Sunday evening that the past month away from the field was more than just the mono diagnosis.
For "four or five days" during the bout with mono, the 22-year-old Darnold had to additionally fight off strep, which compounded his furious recovery process.
"The tricky part about it is I had mono and strep throat at the same time," he said. "I had to get over the strep and the mono over four or five days. So I really couldn't eat much. I was trying to force down protein shakes as much as I could. And throughout those three or four days where I had to do that, my throat was basically closed. So I was forcing down those protein shakes and having a lot of people calling me, texting me, making sure I was doing that even though I didn't feel like it."
Darnold added that the list of people on him about the protein shakes and the recovery process overall ranged from Jets trainers and doctors to his agent and parents.
Weight loss was an ongoing issue that the protein shakes, during the mono and strep bout, were supposed to offset.
For the most part, Darnold told Breer, he only lost three or four pounds from his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame.
"The last three weeks I felt really good, but I just couldn't play," Darnold said. "My energy was up, all that. I think that was the hardest part about the whole thing."
Darnold came back at the right time for the Jets in Week 6 of Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
He completed 23 of 32 passes (71.9 percent) for three touchdowns to one interceptions and gave the Jets (1-4) their first win on the 2019 regular season over the Cowboys (3-3), with his presence alone boosting them as they totaled 382 yards.
Darnold thanked head coach Adam Gase, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and three trainers -- John Mellody, Ezron Bryson and Dave Zuffelato -- with Jets physician Dr. Damion Martins among the specific team staffers that helped him throughout his recovery process.
"I think just a really good week of practice and studying -- and, obviously, a really good game plan of going in," Darnold said. "So that's really all and, again, I'm just really happy for the guys in this locker room. We were starving for a win and to come out here and do it in the fashion that we did -- defense getting a huge stop on the two-point conversion -- I wouldn't want it any other way.