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How Zach Wilson is feeling ahead of his likely season debut

Deseret News 9/29/2022 Kelsey Dallas
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson sits on the bench before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. Wilson could see his first action of the season on Sunday. © Adam Hunger, Associated Press New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson sits on the bench before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. Wilson could see his first action of the season on Sunday.

Zach Wilson says he’s “the happiest (he’s) been in a month” ahead of his likely return to the New York Jets starting lineup after missing the first three games of the season with a knee injury.

He told reporters Thursday that he’s feeling good and excited to play.

“I’m 100%. I’m ready to go,” Wilson said.

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The second-year quarterback was medically cleared for on-field action this week, an essential step on the path toward making his season debut.

Jets coach Robert Saleh said Wednesday that Wilson will “absolutely” start if all goes according to plan, as the Deseret News previously reported.

“It’s really just exciting for him to get back on the football field. It’s been six weeks,” he said.

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Over that period, as he rehabbed his knee, Wilson said he watched the performance of his replacement, Joe Flacco, closely.

“Mentally, I’ve been able to learn from every single thing Joe’s gone through,” he said.

But on-field success relies on physical reps, too, which Wilson has missed. That’s been the focus of this week’s practices, he said.

“I’m psyched to be back on the field, going through the whole process,” he said.

During his own press conference, Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said he and other members of the team are also excited about Wilson’s return and that they’re working hard to set the young quarterback up for success.

“It’s going to take myself, the rest of the offensive unit, the rest of the coaches and everybody,” he said.

LaFleur said he’s been struck by just how thrilled Wilson is to be back on the field.

“I think the thing that stuck out to me ... was just how free and, for lack of a better term, how excited he is just to be out there with his teammates,” he said.

Wilson emphasized his excitement at multiple times during his conversation with reporters, noting that he’s feeling confident about the season ahead.

“I’m going to keep learning and getting back into the groove,” he said.

The 1-2 Jets face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at 11 a.m. MDT.

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