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Jets QB Zach Wilson avoids major injury; Ravens may face Joe Flacco in Week 1

With Zach Wilson going down on a non-contact injury Friday night, the Ravens may face a familiar face in Week 1.

In the New York Jets’ preseason matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday night, quarterback Zach Wilson suffered a non-contact injury to his right knee. Wilson scrambled out of the pocket and quickly barreled to the ground, favoring his right knee.

The outcome is disappointing for Wilson and the Jets. There were initial fears that Wilson may have torn his ACL or suffered a long-term injury. However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Saturday that Wilson is expected to miss two to four weeks with a bone bruise and meniscus tear.

This timeline puts Wilson’s return right up against the Jets’ September 11 home opener against the Ravens, should there be no setbacks. If Wilson is unable to play, former Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco would be in line to start Week 1 against his former team — a turn of events that seems more likely for the big screen than real NFL life.

Jets’ Head Coach Robert Saleh’s reaction to the Wilson injury Friday night was “a lot of curse words.” Rightfully so, the second-year quarterback had plenty to prove coming into this year after throwing 11 interceptions to just nine touchdowns in thirteen starts last season.

As it stands today with Wilson injured, Flacco is the team’s primary backup. If the Super Bowl XLVII MVP draws the start Week 1, it would be the first time the Ravens have faced their former quarterback since they traded him to the Denver Broncos in 2019.

Saleh has had plenty of praise for the 37-year-old quarterback in recent weeks, including after Friday’s game. “Joe is a phenomenal football player,” Saleh said. “He’s having a great camp and he has a lot of juice left in the tank.”

While Saleh did not expect to speak this comment into existence, as of now, Flacco would be the choice to start in Week 1 against the team he tasted Super Bowl victory with in 2012.

Should this outcome occur, expect MetLife Stadium to be packed with Ravens fans feeling guilty about how the quarterback exited in 2019. Flacco reunited with former coaches and players would be a script even Hollywood writers would balk at.

Flacco is still widely loved in Baltimore. His magical playoff run in 2012, in which he threw for an outstanding eleven touchdowns to zero interceptions with a 117.2 passer rating, still brings chills to Ravens faithful. It would be an odd sight to see the Ravens’ former 2008 first-round pick trying to beat the team he won a franchise best 96 games with in his tenure from 2008 to 2019.

We won’t know for sure whether Wilson or Flacco will be under center for a few more weeks. For Ravens players and fans alike, though, this is their first good chance of running into their ex-quarterback come September 11 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.