The New York Jets can officially breathe easy, as quarterback Zach Wilson reportedly underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday.
According to ESPN's Rich Cimini, "there were no surprises from the original diagnosis," which projected Wilson would miss two to four weeks due to a bone bruise and meniscus tear.
ESPN's Adam Schefter added that since the Jets won't bring Wilson back until he's fully recovered, 37-year-old veteran Joe Flacco will be the team's starting quarterback for the season opener against the Baltimore Ravens.
Wilson suffered the injuries early in Friday's preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles when he scrambled and tried to pick up a few extra yards instead of going out of bounds. It's his second time injuring his right knee in less than a year, as he missed four games as a rookie due to a PCL sprain.
The No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, Wilson was expected to make a significant step in his sophomore season. The Jets added a strong crop of weapons around him through free agency and this year's draft, including rookie receiver Garrett Wilson, first-year running back Breece Hall and veteran tight ends CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin.
Wilson's current injury will hinder his development this offseason, as he will miss the final two preseason games as well as joint practices with the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons.
"It's a setback in that he's missing an unbelievable opportunity to get the reps in, to play other defenses, especially the Giants, who have such an elaborate pressure-package system," Jets head coach Robert Saleh said Sunday. "He has to get dialed in, just like he did last year when he was hurt. The timing of it all is terrible and it sucks, but I think Zach still has an opportunity to grow from it if he attacks it mentally."
While Flacco hasn't won a start since 2019, he's performed well throughout the offseason and should be able to steady the ship until Wilson returns. Cimini reported that Flacco had a "sharp" practice Tuesday in which he completed 14 of 17 passes, including a stretch of 10 straight completions.
Flacco should be extra motivated in Week 1, as he will be facing the Ravens team with which he spent his 11 NFL seasons and led to victory in Super Bowl XLVII.