Zach Wilson waited a month to get again to this spot.
The New York Jets rookie quarterback is absolutely wholesome and the beginning job is his once more.
“It feels awesome,” Wilson stated Wednesday. “You know, just that rush, that feeling you get just to be back on the field, it’s exciting. I’m just happy to be back with the guys.”
Wilson sprained the posterior collateral ligament in his proper knee in opposition to New England on Oct. 24. He spent the final 4 weeks recovering and rehabilitating, protecting affected person whereas the Jets performed on with out him. He labored out earlier than every of the final two video games and his knee confirmed enchancment, however coach Robert Saleh insisted the staff would not play Wilson till he was fully wholesome.
He is now good to go.
“I feel 100% confident in my ability to go out there and play football how I need to play football,” Wilson stated. “That was sort of what I instructed the coaches is, I really feel like I can go on the market and play my recreation and not fear about it. And so, actually, I really feel like that doesn’t have to be a spotlight going ahead.
“I really feel like I can simply play ball.”
He’ll get that probability Sunday at Houston when the Jets tackle the Texans — with each groups struggling to 2-8 information.
“As soon as we got clearance that he was fully healthy and he was ready to roll and he was good mentally,” Saleh stated, “we were good with the decision.”
And New York is fortunate Wilson is prepared to play as a result of backups Mike White and Joe Flacco had been placed on the COVID-19 record Tuesday. White examined constructive, so he is out for the sport. Flacco, who’s unvaccinated, is an in depth contact and should check unfavourable for 5 straight days — so Saleh stated there’s nonetheless an opportunity he might journey individually from the staff and give you the option to play Sunday. However the plan is to elevate Josh Johnson from the follow squad to be Wilson’s backup.
Whereas Wilson was sidelined, the Jets’ offense confirmed marked enchancment. As soon as ranked close to the underside of a number of classes, New York has been one of many NFL’s best these days. The Jets have averaged an NFL-leading 346.5 yards passing within the final 4 video games behind White, Flacco and Johnson. New York additionally has probably the most TD passes (10) and first downs on passes (74) in that span.
Wilson was fighting simply 4 touchdowns and 9 interceptions on the time of his damage, with Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur calling for the QB to play “boring” soccer — in different phrases, taking what the defenses give him and not making an attempt to do an excessive amount of. So there may very well be questions whether or not he’ll really feel stress to keep that degree of constant manufacturing.
“No, of course not,” Wilson insisted. “I mean, I play my ball. I play ball. And, you know, credit to those guys. I was able to learn from their reps and everything they went through, but I’ve got to go in there and play my game and not worry about that stuff.”
Throughout his time on the sideline, Wilson studied the offense and how the opposite quarterbacks had been working it on the sphere. He additionally watched his personal tape and acknowledged he noticed issues that made him query why he reacted a sure method on some performs.
The Jets have raved about Wilson’s insatiable starvation to study and his capability to devour the playbook and recreation movie. So the younger quarterback believes he’ll solely come out higher — bodily and mentally — after this layoff.
“I feel like what I’m looking for, what I need to do as a quarterback is heading in the right direction,” Wilson stated. “Of course you’re still learning, but I feel like I’m going in the right direction as far as my understanding of the game and what I’m looking for. And really the ability to just go through the offense and the mindset, I guess you could say, of just making the best decision, every single play for the team. And putting those guys first.”
Wilson and the Jets consider he’ll be higher from the final time he performed. Others?
“I don’t really care what anybody really thinks, if I’m being honest,” Wilson stated. “I need to see enchancment in myself so far as once I watch the tape on the finish of the day, do I see enchancment? , not essentially a stat line or simply the win column.
“When we handle our business, each individual player, the wins will take care of themselves.”