Jets’ Robert Saleh looking forward to Zach Wilson’s return

The Jets count on to play significant video games “down the stretch,” they usually suppose Zach Wilson can be a serious a part of their enchancment.

Regardless of a knee damage that may probably price him at the very least the primary recreation of the common season — if no more — Gang Inexperienced’s brass believes the No. 2 choose within the 2021 draft is on an upward trajectory.

“Earlier than the damage, he was approach forward of the place he was a 12 months in the past,” coach Robert Saleh stated Thursday. “I do know that first preseason recreation, individuals put lots of inventory into these collection, which is warranted, however that first preseason recreation isn’t even near what he’s been displaying all through OTAs and coaching camp and the best way he communicates even now that he’s not part of the practices, and he’s simply in conferences.

“So [I’m] actually enthusiastic about him getting the prospect to get again to the soccer area to indicate how far alongside he’s come. So far as the event and the course that he’s on, we’re enthusiastic about it, and we’re enthusiastic about his future.”

Jets coach Robert Saleh fist bumps Zach Wilson throughout coaching camp.
Noah Ok. Murray-NY Put up

When, precisely, the 23-year-old Wilson returns stays unsure. He suffered a torn meniscus and bone bruise in his proper knee within the Aug. 12 preseason opener in opposition to the Eagles, a recreation wherein he threw an interception and was removed from spectacular. Wilson underwent arthroscopic surgical procedure 4 days later and continues to be not practising, although on Wednesday Saleh stated he might not want a full two weeks of follow to return as he did final 12 months after struggling a sprained knee damage.

When requested about that on Thursday, the Jets’ coach stepped again from that assertion considerably, saying that may be a query higher suited to crew docs.

“It has to do with the return-to-play protocol that’s assigned to the participant as soon as the damage has been identified and all that stuff,” Saleh stated.

One constructive for Wilson is, by the point he’s again, the offensive line may have had lots of time collectively to jell. The group, which was reshuffled after Mekhi Becton’s season-ending knee damage — 37-year-old left deal with Duane Brown was signed, and George Fant was moved from left to proper deal with — struggled in its lone preseason recreation collectively. Saleh is inspired the unit can be extra cohesive by the point Week 1 rolls round.

Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson
Noah Ok. Murray

“We now have time to get the sport reps in. We’re having crew competitions, so it’s not simply going in opposition to playing cards, we’re competing in opposition to each other additionally, however we’ve bought to get going,” he stated. “There’s a chance for us to catch up fairly fast, and we’ve bought about 5, six practices left.”

The Jets’ roster is improved on paper. This 12 months’s draft class seems loaded, and the protection seems formidable up entrance, with out the problems at cornerback. However for the crew to essentially take the subsequent step, it is going to want Wilson to rebound from a rocky rookie season, and he may have to take action after lacking essential follow time.

“We’ve talked about him coming again on the finish of final 12 months and the bounce he made,” common supervisor Joe Douglas stated. “He was having that very same degree of development all through OTAs, all through coaching camp. … I’m certain he want to have that first collection again within the Philly recreation, however he was getting again into rhythm and displaying all of these traits and the development that he had made in that second collection, earlier than the damage. We now have seen great progress from Zach.”

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