New York Jets QB Zach Wilson likely out until Week 4; Joe Flacco to start season opener vs. Baltimore Ravens

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson will miss at least three games as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery, the team announced Wednesday.

He was originally expected to miss a game or two. Coach Robert Saleh explained the decision, saying Wilson will not play until Week 4 “at the earliest”. The Jets take on the Pittsburgh Steelers away this week.

It means the Jets will open the season with Joe Flacco as quarterback, beginning Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens — the team that drafted him in 2008 — at MetLife Stadium.

“We’re going to make sure his mind and body are 100% right and we’re going to make sure we do it right for him,” Saleh said of Wilson, the No. 2 overall in 2021.

Saleh also said that “playing Wilson now isn’t worth the risk. There’s the knee element. There’s the thought element. There’s the practice element. There’s a whole lot of things other than the knee.”

Wilson has not suffered a setback, according to Saleh.

On Monday, Saleh left open the possibility of starting Wilson, saying the sophomore quarterback “looked good” in a side practice that day. In truth, Wilson was never a serious option. That was just a gimmick. He’s just 22 days away from arthroscopic knee surgery and still hasn’t trained with the team.

At the time of the diagnosis — the injury occurred on Aug. 12 in a preseason game — it was considered a two- to four-week injury, sources said. Wilson suffered a torn meniscus and a bruised bone in a contactless game, the same knee he sprained last season – a four-week non-surgical injury.

Saleh has said on numerous occasions that Wilson will return to the lineup once he is healthy. He missed 13 training sessions and two pre-season games.

They could have put him on short-term injured reserve, which would sideline him for four games, but they decided against that option because they want him to be able to train while he recovers. He will not train this week.

Flacco has not started a season opener since 2019, his first and only season with the Denver Broncos. This duel likely has special meaning because he’ll face the team that drafted him in 2008, the team he quarterbacked to a Super Bowl title after the 2012 season. He was replaced by current Ravens starter Lamar Jackson at the end of the 2018 season.

Flacco has lost seven straight starts, the last five with the Jets and the first two with the Broncos. His last win as a starter was October 13, 2019 for the Broncos. In his only start last season, he played well, throwing for 291 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Miami Dolphins.

This will be Flacco’s first game against the Ravens, who traded him to Denver after the 2018 season. New York Jets QB Zach Wilson likely out until Week 4; Joe Flacco to start season opener vs. Baltimore Ravens

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