Many feared the worst when NY Jets quarterback Zach Wilson went down with a non-contact knee injury in the team's first preseason game of the summer. Fortunately for everyone involved, Wilson managed to avoid serious injury.
One bone bruise, meniscus tear, and minor surgical procedure later and Wilson has officially returned to the practice field ahead of the Jets' Week 2 matchup with the Cleveland Browns.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh previously stated that the earliest Wilson would play would be Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it's certainly encouraging to see the second-year quarterback back in action.
Wilson showed few signs of rust or injury as he returned to practice in a limited capacity this week, participating in both 7-on-7 and individual drills.
This is an important step in Wilson's injury rehab, and it seems to be coming a week earlier than most probably expected it to. Does that mean there's a chance Wilson could return as soon as next week against the Cincinnati Bengals?
When will NY Jets quarterback Zach Wilson return from injury?
The Jets aren't going to rush Wilson — they've made that abundantly clear. They want their young quarterback to be physically and mentally prepared for a return before he steps foot on the field in an NFL game again.
That includes making sure that he's not only healthy, but that he also has full confidence in his knee. That takes time, but with the trajectory he's on, Wilson is seemingly on track to be a full participant in practice next week.
The Jets previously indicated that he wouldn't play in Week 3, and while that's still very likely the case, he appears to be ahead of schedule. That's good news for Jets fans who were subjected to an abysmal offensive performance in Week 1.
Joe Flacco did little to inspire confidence in his first start of the season and expectations are low heading into a matchup with the Browns' vaunted pass rush.
Wilson doesn't solve the Jets' offensive issues, and there's no guarantee he's even an upgrade, but the entire 2022 season was supposed to be about the Jets developing their former second overall pick and determining if he's the guy to build around going forward.
It's difficult to do that when he's watching from the sideline.
Zach Wilson should be back on the field very soon. Barring any setbacks, he's well on his way to returning by the beginning of October at the latest.