It appears the Jets have avoided the doomsday scenario with Zach Wilson.
The second-year Jets quarterback suffered a meniscus tear in his right knee and also suffered a bone bruise, per multiple reports, on the non-contact play that sent Gang Green nation into panic mode during the first quarter of Friday night’s preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The fear had been the former No. 2 overall pick might have torn ligaments in his knee which would have knocked him out for the season during the Jets’ 24-21 win in Philadelphia.
Wilson will reportedly undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus — which only needs a “trim” — and is expected to miss 2-to-4 weeks. The exact timeline for Wilson’s recovery will come after a second opinion and following the surgery to repair the meniscus, the AP reported.
That diagnosis has to be considered best-case scenario after Wilson slumped to the ground after a seven-yard scramble in the open field during Gang Green’s second drive. The former BYU QB was quick to signal for help and then limped off to the locker room after being checked out by trainers.
Wilson was trying to extend the play, instead of running out of bounds, when the injury occurred. He appeared to hurt the knee when he tried to plant his leg on the new sod in Philly’s Lincoln Financial Field to try and fake out Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean.
“One hundred percent,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters after the game when asked if Wilson should have stepped out of bounds in the early minutes of the first preseason game.
“He got a little greedy there,” Saleh said.
For Wilson, who suffered through a miserable rookie season where he threw for more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (9) and was sacked 44 times (third most in the league), it’s a second straight season dealing with a right knee injury. He suffered a sprained PCL in a Week 7 game against the New England Patriots and missed four games.
And Wilson had a miserable start to Friday’s game. He never took his eyes off Corey Davis on the first series and Eagles LB Kyzier White stepped in front of his pass for an easy interception. He finished 3-for-5 for 23 yards and the INT. With veteran Joe Flacco not suited up Friday, Mike White subbed in for Wilson and went 10-for-20 for 98 yards. Former Arizona Cardinals backup Chris Streveler also saw action.
The Jets have a long history of quarterbacks going down with severe injuries during these meaningless preseason contests dating all the way back to Joe Namath in 1971. More recently it was Chad Pennington and Mark Sanchez who went down during preseason play.
If Wilson can’t make it back in time for the Jets’ Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the Baltimore Ravens, Flacco, 37, would be the likely starter.
“Joe is a phenomenal football player,” Saleh said Friday night when Wilson’s status remained unclear. “He’s having a great camp.”
With News Wire Services