3:59pm: With Wilson expected to be out for two to four weeks, many have wondered if the Jets might need to make a move at quarterback, in case his knee injury ends up taking longer to heal than expected. But the Jets have confidence in backup veteran quarterback Joe Flacco “to hold the fort down” until Wilson’s eventual return, according to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports.
Anderson even put forth the idea that naming Flacco the Week 1 starter may be the most responsible thing to do, so that Wilson and company don’t feel rushed to try to get him back to the field in time for the regular season before he’s fully healed. While an announcement for Week 1 may be a bit premature, those in the building know that there is no need to rush Wilson back to the field.
Flacco has been with the Jets for a little under two years as a backup quarterback, initially behind Sam Darnold and then behind Wilson. After his first year backing up for the Jets, he signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia to back up Jalen Hurts before being traded back to the Jets in late-October of last year.
Flacco has yet to win a game with the Jets going 0-5 in his five starts. He’s proven to be a serviceable starter during this time, though, throwing nine touchdowns to only three interceptions as a Jet.
The initial thought, if the prognosis for Wilson is correct, is that Flacco would only be needed for one regular season game at most, but, if Wilson needs any extra time to get back to 100%, New York has the utmost confidence in the 37-year-old Flacco.
10:24am: Wilson suffered a meniscus tear, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter). Coupled with the bone bruise, Wilson is expected to be sidelined for two or four weeks. This is obviously great news for the Jets, and ESPN’s Rich Cimini tweets that the team believes their starting QB could be ready to go for Week 1.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that Wilson will undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair the issue. That upcoming surgery will determine whether Wilson’s return is closer to the two-week timeline or the four-week timeline, per Schefter (on Twitter). Wilson will get more opinions to determine if he needs a knee scope, tweets Howe.
10:07am: Wilson suffered a bone bruise and his ligaments are “in good shape,” per Jeff Howe of The Athletic (on Twitter). The QB is set to undergo more tests to determine if there was any damage to his meniscus. At that time, we should get more clarity on a recovery timeline.
9:09am: The Jets are hoping they dodged a major bullet with their franchise quarterback. After Zach Wilson exited last night’s preseason opener with a knee issue, there was concern that the injury could end his season. Fortunately, ESPN’s Rich Cimini writes that the organization is hopeful that Wilson avoided a season-ending injury.The QB will undergo an MRI today to determine the extend of the knee damage.
Coach Robert Saleh said after the game that Wilson’s ACL is “supposed to be intact.” There are early indications that the QB may have reinjured his PCL, according to Cimini. That would be the same PCL that forced Wilson to miss four games during his rookie campaign. Assuming the Jets’ optimism turns out to be correct, the best-case scenario, according to Connor Hughes of SNYtv (on Twitter), would see Wilson sidelined for only two to three weeks, while the “worst case” would have the QB out for four to six weeks.
The non-contact injury certainly didn’t look great when it happened. Wilson suffered the injury during the Jets’ second offensive series, with the QB’s knee appearing to “buckle” before he fell to the ground. Wilson was able to walk off the field under his own power, but he did have a noticeable limp. Mike Kaye of ProFootballNetwork.com questions Wilson’s decision to scramble for extra yards; after passing the line of scrimmage, Wilson could have continued his path toward the sideline, but he decided to cut for extra yards. He “planted his foot awkwardly,” leading to the injury. Saleh seemed to agree with this sentiment, telling reporters that Wilson should have ran out of bounds instead of trying to shake the defender (per Kaye on Twitter).
The Jets have been a bit tight lipped since last night, but that has nothing to do with Wilson’s outlook. Rather, as Hughes notes, the staff is a bit “spooked” after how things unfolded with offensive lineman Mekhi Becton. When the right tackle suffered his knee injury, there was hope that he wouldn’t be out long. However, subsequent tests showed that the lineman suffered a fractured kneecap and would be done for the season.
“I’m over with trying to decipher doctor language, so I’m just going to let the MRI play out and figure it out tomorrow,” Saleh said after the game (via Kaye).
Assuming Wilson misses at least a few weeks, the Jets can use the extra reps to determine the No. 2 QB on the depth chart. Veteran Joe Flacco seems to have a solid hold of that gig, although he didn’t leave the sideline during last night’s contest. Mike White got an extended look in place of Wilson, with former UDFA Chris Streveler also getting some reps.