A day after Jets QB Zach Wilson injured his right knee against the Patriots, an MRI revealed that the rookie signal-caller had sustained a PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) sprain and he is expected to miss 2-to-4 weeks.
Early in the second quarter, Wilson dropped back and unleashed a long ball to WR Keelan Cole in the end zone. Wilson's toe got stuck in the ground as Patriots DL Matthew Judon took him down and landed on top of him. After a couple of anxious moments, Wilson was able to limp off the field and headed to the medical tent before finishing his afternoon in the visitors locker room.
"I felt a pop, I felt a twist and like you kind of know when it's different than just getting some sort of bruise or getting landed on or whatever," Wilson said. "I knew something had happened. It felt a little unstable and that was why I kind of wanted to make sure everything was OK. It was sore. I didn't feel like I could move it at first. That was kind of why I laid there, tried to get my thoughts together."
Wilson, who was 6-of-10 passing for 51 yards against the Patriots, has completed 57.5% of his passes for 1,168 yards with 4 TDs and 9 INTs in six games. He'll miss the Jets' home game with the Bengals on Sunday and then the team's Thursday night contest against at the Colts on Nov. 4. The earliest the No. 2 overall selection in April's draft would be available to come back would be the Jets-Bills game at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 14.
"Anytime you miss reps, it's not ideal," head coach Robert Saleh said after his team's 54-13 loss. "But I don't think it's going to be that big of a setback."
With Wilson out of the lineup, Mike White is in line to make his first NFL start, against the Bengals. In relief against the Pats, White threw a TD pass to Corey Davis on his first professional attempt and finished 20 of 32 for 202 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs.
"I'm confident in myself," White told reporters on Sunday. "I'm mostly confident in the guys we have in that locker room, the leaders we have. The coaching staff, too. Have to make the corrections necessary and keep going and being professionals and working our tails off and trying to get this thing going."
In addition to White taking over as starter while Wilson is on the mend, the Jets will likely promote veteran Josh Johnson from the practice squad. The well-traveled Johnson, who has had 16 stops with 13 NFL teams, has appeared in 33 games and made 8 starts.
While Wilson missing time is not ideal, the prognosis could have been worse. The club was optimistic on Sunday night and the Wilson MRI confirmed the PCL injury.
"That's what I think would probably be the best-case scenario," Wilson said. "I'm not really sure. I don't really know a lot about the PCL. The pain's not really there, it just kind of feels like something's off as far as just being loose or unstable a little bit. So just making sure we get the MRI to clear up things."