May 31, 2023

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Joe Flacco could give Jets the silver lining to Zach Wilson's injury

Joe Flacco could give Jets the silver lining to Zach Wilson’s injury

With Zach Wilson on a plane to Los Angeles To have surgery on Tuesday on his injured right knee37-year-old Joe Flacco was taking reps behind the middle with the Jets first team attack in training on Sunday.

Barring a prodigy Wilson or some unexpected circumstance (like a trade to Jimmy Garoppolo or Joe Namath coming out of retirement), under center with the starters Flacco will be with the Jets at the 9/11 season opener at MetLife Stadium.

Against the crows, his former team. Because of course.

Nobody – not even Flacco, who is sure he can still play at a high level – He wants to see Wilson injured and go to surgery. But there can be a silver lining to this for airplanes.

There is at least a chance that Flacco will take reps from the first team for a few weeks and start the season as the starter turns out to be a blessing in disguise – if, of course, he plays well.

And don’t rule it out.

Flacco likely gives the Jets a better chance of winning now than Wilson, who made two fatal mistakes in his nine plays of Friday night’s scrimmage in Philadelphia: a telegraph pass caught on his first streak and his decision not to run. Out of bounds to avoid the unnecessary injury KO sustained in his second series.

Joe Flacco cast the Jets' new starter role as training camp Sunday.
Joe Flacco cast the Jets’ new starter role as training camp Sunday.
Bill Costron/New York Post

Don’t rule out Flacco playing well enough in the first week or two of the season to ask whether he should be replaced when Wilson is healthy. What if Flacco helped lead the Jets to victory in the first two games – week one at home against the Ravens and week two against Deshaun Watson without Browns in Cleveland?

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so what?

This would, of course, be a champagne problem for Gates coach Robert Saleh. He also puts the cart before the horse with Wilson’s position uncertain.

Saleh said the Jets are “optimistic” that Wilson will be out for no more than a month, but added that he “won’t even get out of the woods.” [doctors] Get in there” and see what needs to be fixed.

When we last saw Flacco start, he looked more than efficient, completing 24 of 39 (61.5 percent) for 291 yards with two passes from TD in a 24-17 loss to the Dolphins in Week 11 last season. He hasn’t won a game he started since 2019 when he was playing in Denver and was 0-5 in two seasons with the Jets, although his stats aren’t weak (9 TDs and 3 INTs).

The biggest question mark with Flacco’s play is whether his lack of movement compared to Athlete Wilson will hinder the movement-rich system managed by Jets Offensive Coordinator Mike LaFleur.

Zach Wilson is out of his first pre-season game with the Jets with a knee injury.
Zach Wilson is out of his first pre-season game with the Jets with a knee injury.

Flacco’s delicious script—who played 11 seasons with the Ravens, led them to the playoffs six times and win the Super Bowl—played against his former team in the season opener.

“Obviously people will put it to me as you think about it,” Flacco said. “I’ve been in a bunch of games where guys have played for their old teams and coaches have played for their previous teams and the feelings are definitely crazy. I mean guys try to act like they’re really cool during the week and that doesn’t mean anything, so I know.

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‘I may have thought about it a bit, but it’s a long way off. I know deep down I’m going to try to make sure it’s not the biggest deal in the world, but at the same time I’ve been through it enough, I’ve seen men go through it.’

Joe Flacco speaks to reporters at Gates training camp on Sunday.
Joe Flacco speaks to reporters at Gates training camp on Sunday.
Bill Costron/New York Post

One player who saw Flacco go through this emotional challenge was receiver Steve Smith Sr., who after playing 13 years with the Carolinas went to Baltimore and in his fourth game for the Ravens played against the Panthers. Smith, after downplaying his former team’s game the week before the game, had seven assists for 139 yards and two touchdowns in Baltimore’s 38-10 win.

“It’s funny looking back at him trying to act like he was cool about it,” Flacco said. “He was already very emotional and next level and strong when it comes to gameday, but I will never forget that day. He was on another planet, and it was so good for him.”

This scenario has a chance to work well with Flacco and The Jets

Saleh – and was – optimistic about Flaco.

“He’s a professional and a veteran and he’s been there and done it,” Saleh said. “He’s the best player in the Super Bowl, he’s the world champion, he’s got great contracts, he’s checked pretty much every box you can check. He knows how to play the game.”

This is why Flacco is still playing. Because he still considers himself a beginner. Now we’ll probably find out if he’s right.