New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has been ruled out for the first three weeks of the 2022 NFL season as he continues to recover from a preseason knee injury, head coach Robert Saleh announced on Wednesday (September 7).
Saleh confirmed veteran Joe Flacco would start in the Jets' Week 1 game against the Baltimore Ravens while Wilson, the No. 2 pick in 2021, wouldn't be available until the Week 4 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the earliest.
"The earliest he's going to be available is Pittsburgh," Saleh told reporters. "That's going to be the earliest and, just from everything we've gathered over the last couple of days, not going to change but, sure, I'm always going to leave that door open, I'm the eternal optimist.
"But we are going to make sure that both mind and body are 110%, make sure we do right by him and we feel like, talking to the doctors and everyone, it's going to be that Pittsburgh week."
Wilson underwent a meniscus trim performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles last month after experiencing a non-contact injury during the Jets' preseason opener win against the Philadelphia Eagles on August 12.
"The recovery plan for #Jets QB Zach Wilson is complicated," Rapoport tweeted. "There is the bone bruise — which needs rest. And the meniscus, which was trimmed. Rests means off his feet. The team won’t put him on the field until he’s 100%, meaning it may not be Week 1. That said, overall good news."
Wilson was seen limping before being taken out of the Jets' preseason win against the Eagles. The quarterback appeared to make an awkward cut and falling at the end of a 7-yard run, leading to speculation of a potential season-ending non-contact injury.
Wilson was reportedly expected to miss 2-4 weeks when initially diagnosed with a bone bruise, which would have possibly included returning for the Jets' season opener at MetLife Stadium prior to Wednesday's announcement.