Good News For Zach Wilson’s Injury? Not So Fast Says Doctor

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Certainly anything short of an ACL tear is great news. However, the chances for a breakout second season for Jets quarterback Zach Wilson will now likely be stunted.

Reports of a meniscus tear and bone bruise is certainly much better news for the Jets and their fans. But the 2-to-4 week timeline seems optimistic.

Knee arthroscopy return is typically 2-4 weeks and a bone bruise is usually 4-6 weeks depending on the severity. This type of bone bruise is essentially a microscopic fracture detected on MRI only. The combination of the two injuries likely means Wilson will miss at least the Week 1 game. And it would be good news if he can avoid the Injured Reserve distinction, which would take him out until Week 4.

Zach Wilson Will Need Time To Recover

Quarterback Lamar Jackson suffered an ankle bone bruise and missed the last four weeks of last season. Rushing a bone bruise back puts the overlying articular cartilage at risk. It is unlikely the Jets or any team would risk long-term health on key players.

Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson. (Getty Images)

Don’t be surprised to see Wilson on crutches with the bone bruise. After the knee scope he will need rehab. That progression will likely be delayed due to osseous injury.

In addition, the young Jets QB will be robbed of the rest of the training camp reps. That could slow his development. When Wilson is ready to get back to football, the team still will have to prepare Joe Flacco or Mike White to play and can’t afford to give Wilson all of the practice reps to get him up to speed. This lack of chances in preseason and regular season will be an additional hurdle for the inexperienced QB.

The Jets will have their QB back this season, but the chances for a breakout campaign are diminished.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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