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Why a PCL injury may be best-case scenario for Zach Wilson, Jets

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is escorted to the

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is escorted to the locker room after an apparent injury during the first half of an NFL game against the Patriots on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass. Credit: AP/Steven Senne

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — When he first felt his right knee buckle, Zach Wilson thought his season might be over.

"I felt a pop in there," the Jets’ rookie quarterback said of Patriots linebacker Matt Judon hitting him after he threw a deep pass in the second quarter of Sunday’s 54-13 loss. "I was thinking the worst [case] scenario in my head, which sucks."

He lay there near midfield, remaining motionless as the Jets’ training and medical staff rushed toward him. Wilson stayed down for several minutes as his knee was examined before getting to his feet and walking slowly off the field.

Despite his initial fear, Wilson said he believes he suffered an injury to his posterior cruciate ligament. If an MRI scheduled for Monday confirms that initial diagnosis, it will be good news, at least relatively speaking. He said that with rehabilitation and treatment, he might return fairly soon, although he didn’t put a specific timetable on it.

"That’s what we’ve heard so far," Wilson said of the likelihood it is a PCL injury. "That would probably be the best-case scenario. The pain isn’t there. It just feels like something’s off as far as being loose or unstable a little bit. Just making sure we get the MRI to clear things up."

Players who suffer a PCL injury can play with a brace, and Wilson hopes he can return in time for next Sunday’s game against the Bengals at MetLife Stadium. The Jets will play the following Thursday in Indianapolis.

"I’m hoping I can get in there and do what I can to get back as fast as possible," he said. "Once we get these results, hit the rehab full on, find out what I’m capable of doing."

On the play before Wilson was injured, he was pushed out of bounds along the sideline and fell awkwardly.

"The play before was my left knee," he said. "Luckily, I popped up fine [even though] it looked pretty bad."

While Wilson didn’t think Judon’s hit was dirty, the one near the sideline by defensive tackle Lawrence Guy was "a little out there, just because he went for my knees."

Wilson hoped to show improvement at the start of Sunday’s game, but the Jets remain the only team in the NFL not to score a single point in the first quarter. Wilson got the Jets in field-goal range late in the period, but Matt Ammendola’s 48-yard attempt sailed wide right.

Wilson, who finished 6-for- 10 for 51 yards, was replaced by journeyman Mike White, who went 20-for-32 for 202 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

White played reasonably well at first in Wilson’s absence and drove the Jets 77 yards for a touchdown on their first possession of the third quarter. But on his next drive, he sailed a pass over tight end Ryan Griffin’s head that was intercepted. He threw another pick on his next possession that the Patriots converted into a touchdown for a 41-13 lead.

Wilson hopes the Jets, who fell to 1-5, can regroup and show some improvement. Asked if he is frustrated or angry, he said, "I’d say being ticked off or upset about that probably doesn’t help us. Adversity is going to hit just like that. It’s about how you respond."

New York Sports