Jets’ Zach Wilson health more important than Week 1 return

Once upon a time there was a Jets quarterback who wore white shoes and fur coats and a Fu Manchu who won the franchise’s lone Super Bowl championship before his knees sabotaged too much of the rest of his career.

Zach Wilson was summoned 16 months ago amid hysterical fanfare to star in a new regime’s version of “Top Gun: Maverick” as the swaggerlicious Jet pilot who would take flight to green-and-white skies and land on Cloud 9.

But now, for the second time, even before the start of his second season, he has been betrayed by his right knee.

And now, for the second time, his career has been delayed on the tarmac.

When Wilson’s arthroscopic knee surgery in Los Angeles was completed and deemed a success on Tuesday, Robert Saleh planned on speaking with the organization’s chosen one.

And this is what he should tell Zach Wilson:

“There is absolutely no need for you to feel pressure to get back for the regular-season opener. You are the future, and we need you right for most of 2022 and beyond more than we will need you right for Sept. 11 against the Ravens.

“Take your sweet time. Joe Flacco can hold the fort in the meantime.”

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) leads his team onto the field before a preseason game against the Eagles, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Philadelphia.
Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) leads his team onto the field before a preseason game against the Eagles.
AP

The moral of the story is Wilson will be facing an unexpected moment of truth whenever he trots back into his Jets huddle.

Eli Manning deserves to be a Hall of Fame quarterback in no small part because his greatest ability was his availability.

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