Once uncertain, it now looks like Zach Wilson could be on the field when the Patriots and Jets square off in a month.
New York’s franchise quarterback had been working his way back from a meniscus injury suffered during the preseason. But Jets head coach Robert Saleh on Wednesday said that Wilson was medically cleared to play and should get the start this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“It’s really just exciting for him to get back on the football field,” Saleh told reporters. “It’s been six weeks. There’s a lot of different things that have to go around him in terms of making sure that we run an efficient offense — from us as coaches, to the O-line, to the receivers running routes. Everybody’s involved. It is exciting to get him out there, but at the same time, it’s not all about Zach. It’s about making sure that we’re executing on all cylinders.”
The Patriots are scheduled to visit the Jets on Sunday, Oct. 30 in a Week 8 matchup. Unless Wilson suffers a setback, the 2021 second-overall pick likely will get his third crack at picking up a win against New York.
That said, even if Wilson can’t go, the Jets offense would be in somewhat capable hands with veteran quarterback Joe Flacco under center. Through three games this season, Flacco ranks fifth in the NFL with 901 passing yards. the 37-year-old has completed 58.7% of his passes while throwing five touchdowns and three interceptions.
On the other side, it remains to be seen who will be at quarterback for the Patriots in Week 8. Mac Jones reportedly will miss multiple games with a severe high ankle sprain and prefers to avoid surgery. Such a decision could lengthen his recovery time, according to some reports.
Nevertheless, Bill Belichick on Wednesday didn’t rule out Jones for this Sunday’s road game against the Green Bay Packers. But Jones wasn’t on the practice field Wednesday and seeming remains a long shot to suit up at Lambeau Field.
The Patriots and Jets will meet again Nov. 20 at Gillette Stadium following the Week 10 bye.