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Jets Announce Zach Wilson as Starter vs. Steelers

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Zach Wilson Jets

The New York Jets will start quarterback Zach Wilson in the team’s Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, head coach Robert Saleh announced on Wednesday.

Wilson initially suffered the knee injury in the Jets’ preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Saleh said his knee is now 100% after six weeks.

“It’s exciting to get him out there, but at the same time, it’s not all about Zack,” Saleh said. “It’s making sure that we’re executing on all cylinders as we should every week.”

He was expected to be ready to play by this time, but the success of veteran backup Joe Flacco made it questionable as to whether the Jets would go back to the former first-round pick. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that the Steelers were preparing to face both quarterbacks.

In three games, Flacco led the Jets to a 1-2 start, throwing an NFL-high 155 times, completing 91 for 901 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions for a 77.9 passer rating. Steelers starter Mitch Trubisky has a 77.7 passer rating.

Instead, the Jets will go back to Wilson, who struggled as a rookie in 2021. Wilson threw for 2,334 yards and nine touchdowns with eleven interceptions and a 69.7 passer rating in 2021, after the Jets made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of BYU. Wilson played three seasons with the Cougars, throwing for 7,652 yards and 56 touchdowns.

The Jets struggled to protect Flacco, who was sacked nine times in three games, but Wilson has significantly better pocket mobility. He ran 29 times for 185 yards (6.4 yards per carry) and four touchdowns last season.

The Steelers are plenty familiar with Flacco, as they faced him 21 times as a member of the Baltimore Ravens, but this will be their first in-game experience against Wilson, something that Tomlin said Tuesday will complicate their preparation for the game.

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