Zach Wilson’s Jets injury return remains up in the air

The Jets will ramp up Zach Wilson’s activity this week, but coach Robert Saleh stopped short of committing that the quarterback would return in Week 4 against the Steelers on Oct. 2.

Wilson has been out since August with a knee injury that required surgery. He returned to practice last week, but largely just threw without a defense on the field. Saleh said he’ll do more this week.

“He’ll take another step up,” Saleh said. “It’s not going to be much different. He’s still going to be in practice. He’s progressing very well. I like the way he’s moving. We’ll ramp him up just a touch more, get to the reevaluation and make decisions on how he needs to proceed from there.”

Saleh said before Week 1 that the earliest the Jets expected Wilson to play was the Steelers game. It sounds like that has not changed, but it may not be a sure thing that Wilson can return for that game.

“It’s the earliest that we were given,” Saleh said of the Week 4 time frame. “He is progressing very well. I don’t want to talk for doctors. It’s the earliest, but we are confident that he is looking really good. We’ll see.”

Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson will likely sit out the early part of the season.

Saleh did not have to answer any questions about whether he is sticking with Joe Flacco this week. The backup threw for four touchdowns in Sunday’s win over the Browns, including two in the final 90 seconds to pull out the dramatic win.

“He can still play in this league,” Saleh said. “He can still sling it. He proved it [Sunday]. That’s a big day to go over three bills and four touchdowns. That’s starter-quality football for sure.”

TE Tyler Conklin nearly had a costly fumble for the Jets. In the fourth quarter, with the team trailing 24-17, Conklin caught a pass from Flacco at the Jets’ 11-yard line and fumbled it. Fortunately for Conklin and the Jets, rookie tackle Max Mitchell recovered it and the Browns did not get the ball in the red zone. It was Conklin’s second fumble in two games.

“I owe him dinner,” Conklin said of Mitchell. “Ball security is something I’m usually pretty damn good at and I haven’t been these first two games. That’s something I’ve got to get figured out. That’s not acceptable. I’ve been hard on myself about it, been beating me up all day, to be honest.”

Saleh said the Jets will see how TE C.J. Uzomah (hamstring) feels Wednesday and figure out a plan for him but he could be a game-time decision again this week. Uzomah missed Sunday’s game after suffering the injury in practice last week. Uzomah surely wants to play against his former team this week after spending his first seven seasons with the Bengals.

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