Quarterback Zach Wilson's first preseason start for the New York Jets ended with him limping off the field, but he may have avoided the worst case injury scenario.
According to Brian Costello, Jets beat writer for the New York Post, Wilson's Saturday morning MRI showed no ACL damage, but he did have a bone bruise and a possible meniscus tear. More tests are reportedly being done to determine the full scope of Wilson's injury.
Jets QB Zach Wilson has a bone bruise and meniscus tear, per sources. He will miss 2-4 weeks. He will get a second opinion, but that is the belief right now.
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) August 13, 2022
Head coach Robert Saleh told the media on Friday night that the medical staff believed Wilson's ACL was still intact, but getting actual proof of that is a huge relief for every Jets player and fan. ESPN's Rich Cimini reported that Wilson will need arthroscopic surgery, but there is optimism that he could be ready for the Jets' Week 1 start against the Baltimore Ravens.
Wilson went down on a scramble, landing awkwardly on the grass during a pretty rough preseason start against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday night. The knee he injured was the same one he injured in 2021, which cost him four games.
Who will replace Wilson?
When any player goes down the way Wilson did, everyone's first thought is that he's suffered a catastrophic ACL injury and will miss the entire season. With San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo still on the trade market, he could have been a replacement option, especially since he has history with Saleh, a former member of the Niners coaching staff.
With Wilson probably missing just a month, there's no need to make a trade to replace him. But even if he was going to miss more time, a trade was already unlikely. Saleh has been very positive about Wilson's backup Joe Flacco, saying recently that Flacco could still be a starter in the NFL.
#Jets head coach Robert Saleh on Joe Cool:
"He should be, in my opinion, he could start in this league. I believe that. ... Joe Flacco is a starting quarterback in this league. He's really, really talented." pic.twitter.com/96p62iybcK
— Bobby Trosset (@bobbytrosset) August 3, 2022
While no announcement has been made yet, it seems likely that Flacco will replace Wilson for the time being. Backups Mike White and Chris Streveler are also options.