NFL Medical Expert Shares Worsening Outlook on Jets’ Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson Jets

Getty New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson taking in the game on the sideline.

New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson folded like a used lawn chair in the second quarter this past weekend vs the New England Patriots.

He strained his PCL and the timeline that was provided for his recovery was two to four weeks.

After learning the extent of the injury, the Jets went out and traded for veteran Joe Flacco to add him to the quarterback room that already included Mike White and Josh Johnson.

Hopefully, they like their new look QB room because according to one expert they’ll be stuck with it for a little longer than they originally thought.

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Injury Update Incoming

Wilson was injured on Sunday and got an MRI on Monday morning to get a full understanding of the damage.

The good news is it was only a PCL strain which is the “thickest of the knee ligaments which is basically the size of a thumb” according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini on the Flight Deck podcast.

In other words, if you had to injure one of the ligaments in your knee, the PCL is the most optimal choice.

When Jets head coach Robert Saleh spoke to the media on Wednesday he said it was still unclear whether Wilson’s injury fell closer to the two-week recovery time or the four-week recovery time.

Although the team is hopeful he will only miss the next two games (vs Cincinnati and at Indianapolis) and will return vs the Buffalo Bills after that mini bye after Thursday Night Football.

Some Bad News Coming Down the Pike

Late on Wednesday night, we received a very worrisome update on Wilson from renowned pro football doctor David Chao who said he, “fully expects” the Jets to place their rookie quarterback on injured reserve.

If the green and white did place their 22-year-old gunslinger on IR he would have to miss a minimum of three weeks so the earliest he could return is Week 11 at home vs the Miami Dolphins on November 21.

They would have to do that by this Saturday, October 30 for him to be eligible to return right before Thanksgiving.

Chao then explained why he expects this to be on the longer recovery side for Wilson:

“I’ve been in the team meeting rooms with head coaches and general managers for those discussions on what to do with injured players. With that knowledge, I have an idea of how they think. Wilson needs to be protected from himself and for a Jets team that doesn’t have all the players healthy around him. You can’t have him miss two weeks, practice a couple of times, then throw him out there with only 80 to 85 percent on that knee. That wouldn’t be fair to him or the organization. I think he is a lot likelier to miss closer to four games than two games.”

If the doctor is right on his projected timeline, then Wilson won’t return until Week 12 when the Jets travel to play the Houston Texans.

While this isn’t necessarily what Jets fans want to hear, it makes sense on several levels.

First off Gang Green didn’t draft the kid out of BYU for 2021, they did it for the long haul, so that’s how they should handle this recovery. Make sure he is right before throwing him back to the wolves.

Secondly, if this prognosis by the doctor is correct, the Flacco trade suddenly makes a ton more sense. General manager Joe Douglas would’ve been proactive to protect himself and the team by having a reliable veteran that can hold down the fort and be that presence in the room while the rookie is away.

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