The Jets received some good news on Saturday morning: Quarterback Zach Wilson’s knee injury was not as serious as initially feared, though he is not expected to return to the field for at least a couple of weeks.
Until then, Jets fans will be confronted with life’s greatest question: Is Joe Flacco elite?
Jokes aside, the Jets organization surely breathed a sigh of relief when an MRI revealed that Wilson suffered a bone bruise and torn meniscus in his right knee early in Friday night’s preseason opener against the Eagles, sources with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed to The Athletic on Saturday.
That’s much better than the initial fear, when speculation pointed to a possible ACL tear after Wilson scrambled away from an Eagles defensive lineman and his knee buckled. He limped off the field and into the locker room with a non-contact knee injury, which often winds up much worse than Wilson’s diagnosis. An ACL tear would’ve ended his season. This injury is expected to keep him out two to four weeks if all goes according to plan — and if that’s the case, it’s possible Wilson won’t miss any regular-season games. It’s still a bit premature, however, to say that for sure.
For now, the Jets must charge forward temporarily without him. The possibility that this injury could delay the start of the 2021 No. 2 pick’s second season is there.
So, here’s everything to know about what’s coming for the Jets — and who their options are at quarterback with Wilson out.
Four weeks remain until the Jets’ season opener against the Ravens on Sept. 11. Before that, the Jets are scheduled for two more preseason games (Aug. 22 versus the Falcons, Aug. 28 versus the Giants) and nine more training camp practices, including two joint practices with the Falcons (Aug. 19-20) and one with the Giants in East Rutherford (Aug. 25).
So if Wilson is out for two or three weeks, he should be able to return in time for the season opener. If it takes longer, his status for the start of the season gets iffy.
After the home game versus the Ravens, the Jets play the Browns on the road (Sept. 18; five weeks), the Bengals at home (Sept. 25; six weeks) and the Steelers on the road (Oct. 2; seven weeks).
That’s not exactly an easy start to the season, either. The Ravens (8-9), Steelers (9-7-1) and Bengals (10-7) were all in playoff contention most of the season in 2021, and the Bengals made it to the Super Bowl.