Zach Wilson and the New York Jets seem to have avoided a preseason nightmare.
Wilson is expected to miss two to four weeks with a bone bruise and torn meniscus in his right knee, according to a person with knowledge of the injury. The person told The Associated Press that how long Wilson will be sidelined will be determined by an arthroscopic procedure to repair the meniscus – the timing of which is pending a second medical opinion.
It was initially feared that Wilson could suffer a serious – and potentially season-ending – knee injury in the second offensive series of New York’s 24-21 preseason opener in Philadelphia Friday night.
Post-match tests indicated the ACL was intact and an MRI on Saturday morning revealed the exact nature of the injury. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced details.
The New York Post first reported that Wilson was diagnosed with a bone bruise and meniscus tear that needed to be cut, not fully repaired. While Wilson and the Jets remain optimistic they won’t know the full extent of the injury — and whether the recovery could go beyond two to four weeks — until doctors operate on the quarterback’s knee. .
There’s still a chance Wilson could be ready to play in the season opener against Baltimore on Sept. 11. Otherwise, veteran Joe Flacco would likely start in place of Wilson against his former team.
After coming back to pass with 4:29 left in the first quarter, Wilson was kicked out of the pocket and climbed to his right for 7 yards, but fell when he tried to pass Philadelphia’s Nakobe Dean. He appeared to injure his knee while planting to cut on the grass field in Philadelphia.
Wilson was down for several minutes as doctors and coaches watched him. He walked carefully to the sideline and then to the locker room.
“He’s in good spirits,” coach Robert Saleh said of Wilson after the game. “He’s fine, a bit frustrated obviously, but he’s as good as he can be in this situation.”
And he probably feels a little better knowing his season isn’t over before it even started.
Wilson’s progress in his second season in the NFL is the main focus this year for the Jets, who took the former BYU star with the No. 2 pick last year. Wilson had an up and down season that started with struggles, then a PCL sprain in the back of the same right knee, sidelining him for four games. But he came back and was solid throughout the streak, throwing no interceptions in any of his last five games.