Joe Flacco Will Start at QB vs. Ravens; Zach Wilson to Miss First Three Games

Flacco Will Play Against His Former Team; Zach Wilson's Earliest Return Could Be Week 4 in Pittsburgh 

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Jets HC Robert Saleh announced on Wednesday that veteran QB Joe Flacco will start in the Week 1 game when the Green & White play host to the Ravens at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Second-year QB Zach Wilson injured his right knee in the preseason opener against the Eagles and is recovering from arthroscopic surgery. Saleh told reporters that the earliest Wilson could return to action is Week 4 vs. the Steelers.

"We are going to make sure both mind and body are 110 percent and make sure we do right by him," Saleh said of Wilson Wednesday morning. "And we feel talking to the doctors and everyone, it's going to be that Pittsburgh week."

Flacco, who started five games for the Jets in 2020-21, led four series in the club's summer finale against the Giants. A 15-year veteran, Flacco (37) has compiled a 98-78 mark as a starter in the regular season while passing for 41,269 yards with 227 TDs and 144 INTs.

"Cool Joe," Saleh said. "He's been preparing. He's freaking awesome and I'm really excited for him and his opportunity. Even at 37, I know it's in the back of his head, he's getting a chance to play Baltimore and all these different things. Even at 37, he has to keep the main thing the main thing and do his best and trust his best is good enough. I think we're all excited for Joe and his opportunity and excited for Sunday."

ESPN Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley pointed out earlier this offseason that Flacco will become only the second quarterback in league history to play a season opener against a team he won a Super Bowl with. Selected No. 18 overall by the Ravens in the 2008 NFL Draft, Flacco, a Delaware product, is the team's leader in several passing categories including yards (38,345) and TDs (212). Flacco also had a 10-5 record in the postseason for the Ravens and was named Super Bowl XLVII MVP after leading the Ravens to a 34-31 title win over San Francisco.

"I've been in a bunch of games where guys have played their past teams," Flacco said. "Usually, the emotions are definitely crazy. Guys try to act like they're so cool during the week. I've probably thought about it a tiny bit. It's so far away. Who knows what's going to happen?"

Last season, Flacco connected on 61% of his tosses in a 24-17 loss to the Dolphins in Week 11, totaling 291 yards and 2 TDs.

Wilson, who made 13 starts his rookie campaign, went through a workout Monday at the team's Atlantic Health Jet Training Center.

"After all the information gathering, it's just not worth the risk in terms of getting him out there," Saleh said of the second-year signal-caller. "There's the knee element, there's the mind element, there's the practice element, there are a whole lot of things other than the knee. He hasn't had a setback."

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