PHILADELPHIA — New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson will have an MRI scan on his right knee on Saturday, but the team hopes he has avoided a season-ending injury, sources said Friday night after the game. opening of the team’s preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Jets declined to provide details except to say Wilson’s ACL is “supposed to be intact,” coach Robert Saleh said. Early indications are that he has re-injured his right PCL and may only miss a few weeks, sources have told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.
Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in 2021, missed four games last season with a PCL sprain in the same knee.
“I’ll let the MRI play and we’ll find out [Saturday]”Saleh said after the Jets’ 24-21 victory.
It was a nightmarish start to the preseason for Wilson and the Jets. On their second offensive series, Wilson’s knee appeared to deform in a non-contact injury as he rushed out of the pocket. He limped to the locker room with 3:43 left in the first quarter.
“A lot of swearing,” Saleh said, describing his reaction to watching his quarterback leave the field.
Wilson was seen in the locker room after the game, walking with a pronounced limp. It was not made available to the media.
The Jets have three other quarterbacks on the roster — primary backup Joe Flacco, Mike White and Chris Streveler. If Wilson were to miss the start of the regular season, he would likely be replaced by the 37-year-old Flacco. The Jets face Flacco’s first team, the Baltimore Ravens, which he led to the Super Bowl championship in 2012.
“You know how I feel about Joe,” Saleh said. “Everyone knows it, the whole world knows it. Joe is a phenomenal football player. He’s having a great camp and he’s got plenty of juice left in his tank.”
Flacco was rested on Friday evening. White (10 for 20, 98 yards) and Streveler (6 for 9, 62 yards, two touchdowns) filled quarterback duties in Wilson’s absence.
Wilson might have avoided the injury by going out of bounds or slipping. “One hundred percent,” Saleh said. Wilson was chased out of the pocket by defensive end Tarron Jackson, who beat rookie right tackle Max Mitchell.
As he rounded the corner, with rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis in pursuit, Wilson attempted to cut inside on rookie linebacker Nakobe Dean. That’s when Wilson’s knee seemed to give out.
“You just have to get your butt out of bounds,” Saleh said. “He got a little greedy, he wanted more. It’s new turf, so it wasn’t exactly as firm as you would like.”
Wilson got up quickly, limping, but fell to the turf in obvious pain. It was a replay of last season, Week 7, when he sprained his right PCL in a loss to the New England Patriots. He didn’t need surgery. Upon his return, he wore a knee brace for the remainder of the season.
“It’s going to be tough,” receiver Corey Davis said. “He’s our guy, he’s our QB1, but we understand injuries happen. We just have to pray he’s okay.”
Wilson, who threw an interception on his first set, was in “good spirits,” Saleh said. “He’s obviously frustrated. He’s as good as he can be in this situation.”
The Jets have high hopes for Wilson in his second year, confident he will improve after a tough rookie season. Their entire offseason was focused on Wilson. They upgraded the supporting cast in the belief that it would elevate Wilson’s game. It was the team’s second major injury in five days. On Monday, right tackle Mekhi Becton fractured his kneecap in practice and is expected to be out of action for the season. The Jets replaced him by signing Duane Brown.