If you’re like me, you expected the worst after Zach Wilson limped into the locker room in Friday night’s preseason game against the Eagles. Many speculated he tore his ACL after suffering a non-contact injury and would miss the 2022-23 season. But it turns out he will only miss approximately two to four weeks with a bone bruise and meniscus tear to his right knee.
Wilson came out of the Jets 24-21 win over Philadelphia in the first quarter after making a cut to gain more yards instead of running out of bounds. He walked off the field under his own power and headed to the locker room.
Head coach Rob Saleh said Wilson got “greedy” during the scramble and should have run out.
The second-year quarterback will undergo arthroscopic surgery. The meniscus tear does not need a full repair, only a “trim,” according to sources.
The Jets have not counted out the possibility of Wilson being ready for their season opener on Sept. 11 against the Baltimore Ravens. Though it seems unlikely, the diagnosis is encouraging. This is not the first time Wilson has dealt with a right knee issue. He suffered a sprained PCL in Week 7 last season which kept him sidelined for four weeks. Wilson did not have surgery and played the remainder of the season in a brace.
It is likely veteran quarterback Joe Flacco will get reps with the starters.
The Jets re-signed the former Super Bowl winner in the offseason for his leadership and experience. He is the obvious No. 2 QB on the squad and, despite not winning a start since Week 6 of the 2019 season, Jets staff feel confident in his ability.
“You guys know how I feel about Joe—everyone does, the whole world does,” Saleh told media after Friday’s preseason game. “Joe’s a phenomenal football player. He’s having a great camp, and he’s got a lot of juice left in the tank.”
Still, the 37-year-old has lost all five of his starts with the Jets in 2020 and 2021 and has a lot to prove to the Jets faithful.
We will see how it pans out in Week 1 in just one month. But for now, Jets fans should be happy with the prognosis and take a big sigh of relief.
(Photo: Eric Harline-USA TODAY Sports/Cropped)
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