There’s still a chance that Zach Wilson will open the season for the New York Jets under center rather than on the sidelines.
Coach Robert Saleh said on a Zoom call that Wilson took a few throws on the field on Monday while testing his surgically repaired right knee, which was injured in the preseason opener in Philadelphia on August 12.
“He looked good, felt good,” Saleh said.
And Saleh left the door open for Wilson potentially starting Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, returning less than a month after the surgery.
“Yes, it is possible,” Saleh said.
While that may be a bit of play mixed with optimism, Saleh added that the Jets will assess Wilson over the next two days and make a decision Wednesday on whether he or Joe Flacco will start. The coach added “it doesn’t do anything for us from a game plan perspective” to rush to name a starter for Week 1. He said Wilson, Flacco and Mike White are all capable of leading the Mike LaFleur’s attack at a high level, and the game plan would remain the same no matter who is under center.
It might still be wishful thinking to expect Wilson to be fully healthy in time for the game.
Wilson suffered a bone bruise and a torn meniscus, which was repaired with arthroscopic surgery in Los Angeles on August 16. He was originally expected to miss two to four weeks, but the Jets insisted they would not rush the sophomore quarterback. on the ground.
“Everyone heals differently, and we’ll see what happens (Tuesday),” Saleh said.
It’s been a big season for the 23-year-old Wilson, who struggled early in his rookie year, then missed four games with a PCL sprain in his right knee before coming back and showing marked signs of injury. improvement to complete. He hasn’t thrown an interception in his last five games and seemed to be quicker at making decisions and reading defenses.
Wilson had a good training camp before the injury, mustering nearly two weeks of solid practices ahead of the preseason game in Philadelphia.
The challenge for Wilson each time he returns will be to quickly regain a similar rhythm on the court despite being out for almost a month.
Saleh said Wilson won’t need a build-up period to play once he’s healthy. He would return to the starting QB spot at that time.
“Eventually he has to go back,” Saleh said. “Whether it’s this week, next week, the week after, it doesn’t matter. So you just have to tear off the bandage.
“When Zach is ready to play and he’s healthy, like I’ve said from the start – when he’s healthy and he’s feeling good, he’s going to play football.”
NOTES: Saleh announced that the players elected Wilson as captain of the Jets offensive team. Linebacker CJ Mosley was selected as defensive captain and Justin Hardee for special teams. All three were captains last year. Saleh said the coaching staff will select one player each week to join the other three as captains on match day. … CB DJ Reed (knee) practiced on the pitch on Monday and Saleh said the team will have a better idea of their playing chances by Wednesday. …OL Conor McDermott has been re-signed and RB rookie Zonovan Knight has been released. McDermott, who was part of the Jets’ final cuts last week, has spent the past three seasons with New York primarily as a backup. Knight signed with the Jets in May as an undrafted free agent from North Carolina State.
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This story was originally published September 5, 2022 1:16 p.m.