Jets Make Final Call on QB Zach Wilson Ahead of Bengals Game

Zach Wilson, Jets

Getty New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson going through a pregame workout ahead of an NFL game.

The New York Jets have renewed confidence at 1-1 heading into their Week 3 home matchup versus the Cincinnati Bengals.

Although the big question on everyone’s mind heading into this week, was who is starting at quarterback?

Connor Hughes of SNY spoiled the potential surprise by revealing on Twitter that veteran Joe Flacco will start for the third straight game to kickoff 2022.

Hughes said that Wilson is “progressing well” but he won’t play “no matter what” transpires over the coming days. The Jets remain adamant that they won’t throw their young quarterback back out there until “he’s 110%.”

Robert Saleh Has Kept a Consistent Message With Zach Wilson

Instead of playing the typical cat-and-mouse game with reporters, head coach Robert Saleh was surprisingly transparent a few weeks ago with the status of his franchise hopeful.

Back on September 7, Saleh ended all the speculation by saying, “to be honest with you guys, I really don’t want to talk about this situation anymore so the earliest he will be available is Pittsburgh.”

That means if you were to believe the coach, Wilson wouldn’t even be an option to return until Week 4 when the Jets travel to play the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It appears the coach is sticking by that original timeline.

Jets Are Making Right Decision for Once

Saleh caught a lot of flak for flirting with a Wilson return in Week 1 to abruptly pivoting to no earlier than Week 4. However, sticking by that timeline is the correct decision.

Don’t get me wrong there is a ton of sex appeal to a 1-1 upstart Jets team getting their quarterback back in a raucous MetLife Stadium versus a lowly Bengals team. Despite the temptation though the Jets are playing for the long term, not just a single week.

Plus the decision is a heck of a lot easier after Flacco just balled out against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2:

  • 26-of-44
  • 307 passing yards
  • Four touchdowns with no interceptions

So much so that the 37-year-old elder statesmen was one of three quarterbacks nominated as a finalist for the FedEx Air Player of the Week after his performance:

Flacco wasn’t perfect by any means. He isn’t the same player that won Super Bowl MVP honors as a member of the Baltimore Ravens, but he has done his job as a steady veteran.

Although you can’t help but get excited with the possibilities once Wilson returns.

This offense looked so explosive against the Browns with Garrett Wilson going off, Elijah Moore is uber talented, and Corey Davis had an explosive with a long touchdown in the fourth quarter.

If you insert a much more mobile and athletic quarterback into the mix, it sure seems like this offense has the potential to reach another level.

When Saleh spoke with the media on Monday, September 19 he reiterated that the “earliest” Wilson can return is versus Pittsburgh. He seemingly left the door open that it could be more time missed for his young quarterback.

Although after all the previous flak he caught for handling things, this simply could be the coach covering his bases for all possible scenarios.

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