FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets have cast some doubt on their quarterback status for Week 1, announcing Monday that Zach Wilson made his first practice since Aug. 16 arthroscopic knee surgery.
Coach Robert Saleh said Wilson could start Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, though the real outcome would be Wilson getting at least another week to heal. This sets up backup Joe Flacco to face the Ravens from 2005 to 2018 in the season opener at MetLife Stadium.
In the year All signs were pointing toward Flacco after Wilson suffered a torn meniscus and bone injury Aug. 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles, but Saleh added some doubt on Monday.
“He looked good, I felt good,” Saleh said of Wilson’s workout.
Monday’s practice was closed to the media and Saleh did not provide many details except to say that Wilson’s workout will include running and throwing.
Wilson is expected to miss two to four weeks, sources said at the time of the injury. Tuesday marks three weeks since the surgery, but the Jets have stressed that Wilson will not play until he is 100%.
Given the team’s cautious approach and the fact that Wilson has yet to fully practice, it’s expected that Flacco will get the same effort with the Ravens that he led to a Super Bowl championship after the 2012 season.
Drafted second overall in 2021, Wilson missed 13 practices and two preseason games.
Saleh Wilson has made it clear that he will play as soon as he is ready and that he can play after a full week of practice. When Wilson sprained the same knee a year ago, he spent three weeks training before returning. Saleh said the promotion period will not last long this time.
“Ultimately, it will be the same story this week and next week. He has to go back there,” Saleh said. “You just have to rip the Band-Aid off when he’s ready to play. When he’s healthy and feeling good, he’s going to play football.”
Flacco, 37, has been running the offense since Wilson’s injury and has served as Mike White’s backup. Flacco impressed teammates and coaches in training camp, but sputtered in his lone game of the preseason. He threw a pick-six against the New York Giants.
“Joe has a lot of experience, while Zach is in his second year in the league, Zach is a special player,” guard Laken Tomlinson said. “The way he handled himself while doing this offense, we were very impressed with his work.”
Wilson played nine times in his only preseason game. He threw an interception, and on the second series, tried to gain more yardage instead of running safely out of bounds. His knee buckled and he fell awkwardly onto the grass.