Jets quarterback Zach Wilson sits on the bench during warm-ups...

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson sits on the bench during warm-ups before an NFL preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 28, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: AP/Adam Hunger

Zach Wilson could be the Jets’ Week 1 starting quarterback after all.

Robert Saleh opened the door for what would be a surprising turn of events, saying it’s “possible” that Wilson will return from his knee injury to face the Ravens on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. He still has some hurdles to overcome, though.

Wilson went through a workout on Monday. If his knee feels good and strong, he could practice with the Jets’ starting offense when the team returns to the field on Wednesday. If not, Joe Flacco will start against Baltimore. Saleh said he will announce his starter on Wednesday.

“He looked good, felt good,” he said of Wilson during a Zoom call on Monday. “We’re going to see how the knee responds today and tomorrow. We’ll have an answer for everybody on Wednesday.”

This could be some gamesmanship from Saleh heading into the regular season. It’s a positive sign for the Jets that Wilson is progressing, but they still will be cautious with the second-year quarterback.

Wilson suffered a bone bruise and a torn meniscus in his right knee in the Jets’ first preseason game on Aug. 12 against the Eagles. He had arthroscopic surgery to trim the meniscus on Aug. 16. Wilson injured the same knee last season and missed four games.

Saleh didn’t have any details on the type of workout Wilson went through with the doctors and trainers but did say it involved running and throwing.

Saleh has been consistent in saying Wilson doesn’t need a long ramp-up despite not participating in any team activities in more than three weeks. He wants him to be able to get a full week of practice in before he returns.

“Eventually, he’s got to get back in there,” Saleh said. “Whether it’s this week, next week, the week after, it doesn’t matter. You just have to rip the Band-Aid off. When Zach’s ready to play and he’s healthy — like I’ve said from the beginning, when he’s healthy and he feels good, he’s going to play football.”

That’s what makes Wilson playing on Sunday still very much up in the air.

The Jets have said they will not put Wilson on the field until he’s completely healthy and able to withstand hits. They also want him to be able to comfortably play to his strengths, which include extending plays, making throws on the move and getting out and running when necessary.

Wilson got hurt doing just that, as he escaped a rush and tried to get some extra yardage when the smart move would have been to run out of bounds.

After the non-contact injury, the initial prognosis was that Wilson would miss two to four weeks. After surgery, there was no timetable for his return. The Jets were relieved that no further damage was discovered when the doctors performed the scope.

“Everyone heals differently,” Saleh said. “We’ll see what happens tomorrow and all that stuff. I almost feel like some of the guidelines that are put on — they’re guidelines, but everyone responds differently.”

If Wilson needs more time, the Jets are very comfortable with the 37-year-old Flacco running the offense.

During training camp, Saleh said he believes Flacco still is a starting quarterback in the NFL. He could get the chance to show it against the team that drafted him, which he led to a Super Bowl title.

Flacco didn’t play well in his only preseason game, which included an interception thrown right at Giants linebacker Austin Calitro.

No matter who starts, Saleh said very little will change for offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.

“It does nothing for us in terms of from a game plan standpoint,” Saleh said. “All three of our quarterbacks are capable of running our offense at a high level. For Mike and all of them, they’ll be able to game plan the way they need to.”

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