Garrett Wilson, the Jets' superlative rookie wide receiver, sent a shudder through MetLife Stadium midway through the second quarter on Sunday when he caught a 13-yard, first-down pass from Joe Flacco over the middle, then took a shot to the ribs from Cincinnati's Jessie Bates.
Wilson, who caught 6 passes for 60 yards in the game (2 receptions for 14 yards in the second half), was helped off the field and into the Jets' locker room. At the time, the Jets trailed, 17-6. He did, however, return for the second half of the 27-12 loss to the Bengals.
"I tried not to think about it," Flacco said of Wilson's injury. "You could tell it was his ribs. I was hoping that it was nothing crazy, just kind of got the wind knocked out of him, so we'll see what ended up going on there, but I'm not sure how much guys thought about that once he was kind of off the field. You're so in the zone at that point when you're on the field and you're going through a drive, you don't really have time to think about it."
One week removed from his 8-catch, 102-yard, 2-TD coming out party in the Jets' furious rally to win at Cleveland, Wilson (6-3, 185) started fast against the Bengals, catching 4 passes for 46 yards before missing the final 7:48 of the first half. His performance last week made Wilson, the team's second of three first-round draft picks (N. 10 overall), the first Jets rookie to total 100+ receiving yards and 2+ TD catches in one game. For his play against the Browns, he was named the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week. He also earned the third-highest grade for a rookie by Pro Football Focus, 78.9.
See the best images from the Week 3 matchup between the Jets and Bengals at MetLife Stadium.
Wilson is only the ninth Jets rookie since the NFL-AFL merger (in 1970) to record a 100-yard receiving day. Teammate Elijah Moore did it once last year and Laveranues Coles did it in 2000. The only player to do it twice was Al Toon in 1985.
With Wilson out in the first half, Corey Davis (2-27) and Elijah Moore (4-49) played out wide, with Braxton Berrios in the slot.
In addition to Wilson, linebacker Quincy Williams was carted off the field in the second half with his left leg in an air cast. He sustained an ankle injury and head coach Robert Saleh said afterwards he didn't know if it might be season-ending. And offensive lineman George Fant, who has moved from right tackle to left and back to the right side because of injuries to Mekhi Becton and then Duane Brown, sustained a knee injury that forced him to head to the locker room for evaluation. He was replaced in the lineup by veteran T Conor McDermott.