How long is Zach Wilson out? Injury timeline, return date, updates for Jets QB

The Jets suffered a potentially nightmarish scenario on Friday when former No. 2 overall winner Zach Wilson limped with a non-contact knee injury.

The injury came when the sophomore quarterback attempted to dodge an upcoming tackle by Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean. Although Wilson avoided the hit, it was obvious he was pinching his knee, ultimately resulting in a 7-yard gain.

The Jets immediately took their quarterback out of the game and into the locker room, where he underwent an examination. He was later seen walking the sidelines without a brace, albeit cautiously.

MORE: Zach Wilson injury update: Jets QB suffers non-contact knee injury but team optimistic he won’t miss much time

It was later reported that Wilson will be out for some time due to injury, although there is some good news on how long he will be out. The Sporting News has everything you need to know about Wilson’s injury, including his recovery timeline, updates and who the Jets will be contacting while he heals.

What is Zach Wilson’s injury?

Both ESPN’s Adam Schefter and The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported Saturday that Wilson has a bruised bone. However, their respective sources have reported different information regarding a possible meniscus tear.

Schefter reported that a tear has already been confirmed and that Wilson will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery to repair the damage.

However, Howe’s source did not confirm a tear; He later reported that the team is getting more opinions and is considering performing a scope on Wilson’s knee.

The question now is exactly how much time Wilson will be missing. Regardless, the fact he’s avoided tearing or breaking ligaments – like the one that will cause tackle Mekhi Becton to miss the entire season – is good news for the Jets.

MORE: Jets’ Robert Saleh and Eagles’ Nick Sirianni react to late Jalen Hurts strike: ‘Incredibly terrible,’ Saleh says

How long will Zach Wilson be out?

According to Schefter, the Jets initially believe Wilson will be out for 2-4 weeks. That would mean he’s out for the remainder of preseason and possibly their Week 1 opener in New York against Baltimore.

Schefter later reported that further evaluation by doctors could reveal the meniscus tear to be worse than thought, resulting in a longer recovery time.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero confirmed Schefter’s coverage and said the Jets are more likely to keep Wilson out for four weeks and questioned whether he’ll be ready for the first week’s game.

Jets QB depth chart

If Wilson is unable to play in the Jets’ season opener, New York will likely turn to veteran Joe Flacco to take on his former team.

Flacco has been on the Jets roster since 2020 and has played a total of seven games over two seasons. He went 0-5 as a starter and completed 101 of 176 passes (57.4 percent) for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns for three interceptions.

Another option is Mike White, a 2018 fifth-round pick who played in South Florida and western Kentucky. White, who was primarily a member of the practice team for the Cowboys and later the Jets, only played in his first game in 2021 when he filled in for Wilson as he missed time with a PCL injury. He played in four games and went 1-2 as a starter, completing 88 of 132 passes for 953 yards and five touchdowns for eight interceptions.

Chris Streveler, a standout in the CFL and currently fourth in the Jets, would likely be moved to the third row if Wilson missed a lot of time.

rank player
1 Zach Wilson
2 Joe Flaco
3 mike white
4 Chris Streveler

MORE: Robert Saleh reacts to Mekhi Becton’s knee injury, bemoaning athletes’ ‘dehumanization’ on social media after criticism

Zach Wilson injury history

This isn’t the first time Wilson has suffered a knee injury. He also missed four weeks in 2021 after being hit by Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon in the Jets’ Week 7 loss to New England. It has been confirmed that he has a PCL sprain.

The injury occurred to his right knee, the same one he injured in Friday’s preseason game.

Zach Wilson Injury Updates

Friday, August 12: Wilson walks out of the Jets’ Week 1 preseason game against the Eagles with a non-contact right knee injury. He is removed from the game.

Jets coach Robert Saleh says after the game that Wilson’s ACL is “intended to be intact,” suggesting any injury he sustained isn’t due to that ligament; he later says an MRI on Saturday will determine what the injury is.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports that the initial concern is that Wilson has suffered another PCL injury to his right knee.

Saturday 13 August: MRI shows Wilson avoided tearing ligaments or further damage to his PCL. Instead, he is diagnosed with a bruised bone and a torn meniscus. The Jets are reportedly considering undergoing a scope on Wilson’s knee, though initial schedules suggest a return earlier in the season.

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