FLORHAM PARK, N.J.— No additional damage was found in Jets quarterback Zach Wilson’s knee during his arthroscopic surgery, according to a league source.
Wilson’s procedure, which was done Tuesday in Los Angeles by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache, was deemed successful. There were no surprises from the original MRI, the source said.
That was good news for the Jets and their second-year quarterback.
Wilson had his meniscus trimmed after tearing it in Friday’s preseason win over the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Jets were relieved that Wilson didn’t need his meniscus repaired, which would have been a lengthy rehab. Wilson also suffered a bone bruise in his knee.
The prognosis after Wilson’s MRI on Saturday was that he could miss two-to-four weeks. It hasn’t necessarily changed, but no timeline was provided after the surgery. The bone bruise needs rest to heal, making it difficult to give a specific timeline, the source said.
There was a thought that Wilson could be ready to play in the Jets’ Week 1 game versus Baltimore on Sept. 11. That doesn’t seem likely, though. The game is less than four weeks away and it’s unclear when Wilson can resume practicing. The Jets won’t put Wilson on the field until he’s 100%.
The Jets feel they are in good hands with veteran Joe Flacco running the offense until Wilson returns. Saleh has expressed supreme confidence in Flacco, the former Super Bowl MVP who has been leading the first-team offense in practice this week.
The likely scenario is that Flacco will be the Jets’ QB1 against Baltimore with Mike White serving as his backup.
“It is comforting, and I’ll shout out Mike White too,” Saleh said. “I think we’ve got three starting quarterbacks. Joe has proven throughout his time that he’s a winner . . . We have all the confidence in the world in him to get the job done.”
Flacco, who is 0-5 as a starter with the Jets, had an impressive performance during Tuesday’s practice. He completed 13 of 16 passes with three touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Flacco’s throws still have plenty of zip.
He stepped up in the pocket and made a strong sideline throw to Elijah Moore during team drills. Flacco also had back-to-back bullets to Corey Davis for a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
“The offense looked really good, especially down there tight in the end zone where things are faster and a lot tighter,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “That’s where veteran experience comes in. I thought he did a nice job.”
This is the second straight year that Wilson has injured his right knee. He sprained his PCL (inside his knee) in a Week 7 loss in New England last season that sidelined the quarterback four games.
The latest injury initially appeared much worse. It was a non-contact injury that Wilson suffered when he was scrambling away from an Eagles’ rusher and tried to get extra yards instead of running out of bounds.
Wilson made a cut to juke a defender when his knee appeared to buckle. Wilson fell forward untouched, likely to avoid being hit. He got up but then fell again as teammates waved for the trainers to come onto the field.
The immediate speculation was that Wilson suffered a serious injury, but the MRI showed that Wilson’s ligaments are intact. The Jets were confident about that, but they nervously awaited the results of the scope.
Wilson will miss the Jets’ last two preseason games as well as two joint practices this week with the Falcons and one next week with the Giants. Saleh said that would have been important for Wilson’s development and to see how far he’s come after all the work he put in during the offseason.
“It’s a setback in that he’s missing an unbelievable opportunity to get these reps in and to play [against] other defenses, especially the Giants who have such an elaborate pressure system,” Saleh said Sunday. “But he’s got to stay dialed in just like he was last year when he was hurt, learn from his teammates and try to be involved as much mentally as he can possibly be.
“The timing of it all is terrible and it [stinks], but I think Zach can still have an opportunity to grow from it if he attacks it mentally.”