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Why the Jets Are Still Concerned About Zach Wilson's Knee Injury

As Zach Wilson heads for knee surgery this week, the Jets understand their quarterback is "not out of the woods" yet.
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The Jets are optimistic about Zach Wilson's right knee injury, a bone bruise and torn meniscus sustained during New York's preseason opener in Philadelphia on Friday.

As Wilson heads for surgery early this week, however, the organization understands that there's still one final hurdle to clear before they've officially dodged a bullet with the quarterback's untimely injury.

Wilson will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles. The procedure is designed to clean up his meniscus, which reportedly only needs a "trim" rather than a full repair, per ESPN's Rich Cimini.

That's where this situation could suddenly take a turn. 

Wilson is currently expected to miss two-to-four weeks after this surgery. If Dr. Neal ElAttrache—the head team physician for the Dodgers and Rams that will perform the procedure in L.A.—finds more damage during the scope, that injury timetable would likely be extended.

"They’ll know more once they get in there," head coach Robert Saleh told reporters on Sunday. "We’re optimistic, but he’s not out of the woods until they get in there and make the decision."

Saleh added that he feels good about Wilson's status based on all the information that's been provided in evaluations to this point. There's always a slim chance that things can change during and after surgery, though. That's why he's not jumping to any conclusions. 

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All signs point toward veteran Joe Flacco stepping in for Wilson at the helm of New York's offense until the second-year quarterback is able to return. Gang Green's opener against the Baltimore Ravens, Flacco's former team, is in less than four weeks, so the clock is ticking for Wilson if there's any chance he can be available for Week 1.

New York has Mike White ready to step in as well. The longtime backup played his way into the history books last year, famously throwing for 400-plus yards in a stunning upset victory over the Bengals.

Regardless of Wilson's long-term injury timetable, it's clear he'll miss the next several weeks, likely the remainder of the preseason. Saleh explained that this setback came at a "terrible" time, stripping Wilson and the offense of valuable reps together before games start to really count.

"It’s a setback in that he’s missing an unbelievable opportunity to get these reps in and to play other defenses, especially the Giants who have such an elaborate pressure package system, a pressure system," the head coach said. "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 sucks, but I think Zach can still have an opportunity to grow from it if he attacks it mentally."

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