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Why the Jets Should Not Start Zach Wilson This Week

Jets Country on FanNation logo Jets Country on FanNation 10/2/2022 Daniel Kelly
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With New York's current situation on the offensive line, and Wilson's injury history, New York should not let the second-year quarterback play in Pittsburgh

Making the decision to start Zach Wilson is not risky...

It is a downright careless decision by team General Manager Joe Douglas when looking at the facts.

Wilson has sustained two injuries and subsequent surgeries to his right knee in less than a calendar year. 

I'm not a doctor, but as a former Jets' pro scout, I know non-contact injuries strongly suggest the original area injured was not fully healed when they occur. 

Wilson was out there playing against the Eagles in that first preseason game, and he went down. 

Two days before that game, I wrote New York should strongly consider resting Wilson against the Eagles given the situation they were dealing with at offensive tackle at that time. 

Instead Wilson played and he got hurt. 

Now, 51 days later, after yet another surgical procedure to that same right knee, Douglas is running Wilson back out there to face Pittsburgh and their No. 8 ranked pass rush? 

Douglas is starting Wilson with rookie Max Mitchell at right tackle and journeyman tackle Conor McDermott on the left side?

McDermott (2017 sixth-round draft choice) is on his third team in a league that covets left tackles. 

Douglas actually likes the match-up of McDermott (who he cut and brought back) going up against Pittsburgh's sack leader Alex Highsmith? 

Not to mention, the rest of the offensive line Douglas built looked completely overwhelmed against Cincinnati last week. The line has already surrendered nine sacks through three games. 

Pittsburgh also features defensive tackle Cameron Heyward that New York will have to contend with. 

Heyward has long been a force to be reckoned with, logging 69 career sacks, 10 of those coming last season. 

How can Douglas look at these collective facts and believe it is a good idea to start Wilson this week? 

Last season, Douglas dodged a bullet after making a similar decision to rush Wilson back against Houston on a 2-8 team after the first knee injury and surgery. 

Sure enough, Wilson pulled up limping along the sideline during that game. 

Afterwards, Wilson even admitted the knee wasn't 100%. 

"It's not fully healed and we understand that, but I feel good to play, and that's why I am playing," Wilson told reporters. 

Wasn't anything learned from what just happened to Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa on Thursday night and watching that horrific scene?

It was reported Tagovailoa had suffered concussion symptoms four days prior, but he still was out there playing. 

Robert Griffin III (ESPN) lit up Twitter in response saying teams should put the person before the player, and the need for teams to protect players from themselves. 

I've written articles steadily since November about how Douglas needed to address the position of offensive tackle far differently than he has, and here we are in a dire situation and it's only week four. 

I wrote about how Wilson should have sat for the Eagles game this preseason, and we see how that turned out. 

On August 15, I urged Douglas to sit Wilson this season and to give the knee time to fully heal, which would give Wilson his best possible chance to prove himself in 2023. 

Yet, here we are.

Wilson is starting against Pittsburgh. 

Even if Wilson makes it through this game and the rest of the season, was this a solid decision in terms of risk assessment?

My concern in all of this is for Wilson, his career, and his long-term quality of life.

My concern is how this decision affects everyone on the roster, the fan base and I'm looking at the possible long term effects to the organization. 

Why am I more concerned than Douglas?

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Follow Daniel Kelly on Twitter (@danielkellybook). Be sure to bookmark Jets Country and check back daily for news, analysis and more.

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