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Jets quarterback Zach Wilson to miss two to four weeks with sprained PCL in right knee

Jets tight end Ryan Griffin tends to an

Jets tight end Ryan Griffin tends to an injured quarterback Zach Wilson during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Oct. 24, 2021. Credit: EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/CJ Gunther\

The Jets will start preparing for life without Zach Wilson, but they’re relieved it won’t be that long before the young quarterback is back on the field.

Wilson will miss two to four weeks after an MRI revealed he suffered a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in Sunday’s 54-13 loss to the Patriots. This was the best-case scenario for the Jets and Wilson, who could return as early as Nov. 14 against the Bills.

"You never want to see somebody lose a season to an injury ever," Robert Saleh said during a Zoom call Monday. "He can still be very active in his rehab, active in his learning, keep pace with the install of the offense, and he’ll be back before you know it."

The plan was for Mike White to run the offense until Wilson is ready to return. That still may be the case, but the Jets finally added a proven veteran backup quarterback on Monday.

The Jets are reacquiring Joe Flacco in a trade with the Eagles, a league source confirmed. They’re sending a conditional sixth-round pick to Philadelphia for Flacco, who spent last season with the Jets when Adam Gase was the coach.

They run a totally different system now, but Flacco played in a similar offense in Denver. He might not need much time to acclimate himself.

Wilson injured his knee early in the second quarter Sunday. After launching a long pass, he was drilled in the back by linebacker Matthew Judon and driven into the Gillette Stadium turf with all of Judon’s weight on top of him.

Wilson said his knee twisted and he felt "a pop." As he lay on the turf, he said he was thinking about the worst-case scenario — that his season was over. But he and Saleh sounded optimistic on Sunday that it wasn’t as serious as Wilson originally feared. The MRI showed that.

But Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick from BYU, will miss valuable time on the job. His development is the most important thing for the Jets this season.

Wilson has had a rough start to his NFL career. He’s thrown four touchdown passes and nine interceptions and has been sacked 19 times in six games. The Jets are 1-5.

Saleh, however, said it will be good for Wilson to watch another quarterback run the offense.

"I don’t think it’s a setback," he said. "I think it’s always good to step away and watch the offense through the lens of another quarterback.

"For him to be able to just watch — thankfully it’s a not a serious injury — but to watch, rehab, catch his breath . . . We’re still going to be able to develop as an offense, develop a scheme, and Zach will still be there learning it and just trying to absorb all the information that he can."

Saleh said the Jets haven’t decided whether Wilson will go on injured reserve. If he does, he will miss a minimum of three games.

"There’s a lot to be done over the course of the week with regards to is it a two-week injury or a four-week injury," he said. "There’s still a possibility for Buffalo. We’ll know more as the week goes on."

The Flacco acquisition would seem to suggest it might be longer than two weeks. It also raises questions about White’s status.

The Jets held Zoom calls with coaches and players before the Flacco deal was reported, and they all talked about the faith they had in White, who was slated to make his first NFL start Sunday against the Bengals.

During training camp and throughout the preseason, Saleh fielded questions about adding a veteran backup to help Wilson and replace him if he got injured. The Jets eventually brought in 35-year-old Josh Johnson, who is on the practice squad.

At the time, Saleh was steadfast in saying he believesin White and his knowledge of the system and that they want to develop him.

White, a fifth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2018, never played in an NFL game before replacing Wilson on Sunday. On his first pass attempt, White threw a touchdown pass. He finished 20-for-32 for 202 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

"The ball was being moved," Saleh said. "He was putting the ball where it needed to go and he was doing a lot of really good things playing quarterback. We have a lot of faith in Mike. That’s why we kept him. He, to us, proved that he can function within the system."

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