NFL Injury Analysis: Jets QB to Have Surgery

NFL Injury Analysis: Jets QB to Have Surgery

This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.

Zach Wilson

The Jets quarterback suffered a right knee injury over the weekend, threatening his availability for the start of the regular season. Wilson was scrambling down field when he attempted a hard cut. The knee gave out and Wilson hit the turf untouched. The mechanism of injury is consistent with a serious, noncontact knee injury, but detailed testing, including an MRI, revealed he thankfully avoided a season-ending injury. Instead, the final diagnosis was a bone contusion with an accompanying meniscus tear that will require surgery.

The time lost following a meniscus surgery is dependent on the procedure utilized, which is often dictated by the location and size of the tear. If the tear sits on the periphery of the disc, a meniscectomy, or removal, can be performed. Once the damaged tissue is excised, the associated symptoms can be treated, and a quick return is possible. Athletes who undergo meniscectomies can generally return in weeks, not months. However, the approach can lead to long-term complications, as part, or all, of the cartilage is no longer available for support and stability.

True meniscus repairs are only possible if the damage occurs in a very specific area of the injured disc. Repairs preserve the cartilage of the knee but come with a short-term setback, as the recovery is lengthier. Athletes who undergo meniscus repairs generally need multiple months to adequately recover.

Wilson is slated to undergo a meniscectomy on Tuesday, and the team has set the early estimated timeline for his return

Zach Wilson

The Jets quarterback suffered a right knee injury over the weekend, threatening his availability for the start of the regular season. Wilson was scrambling down field when he attempted a hard cut. The knee gave out and Wilson hit the turf untouched. The mechanism of injury is consistent with a serious, noncontact knee injury, but detailed testing, including an MRI, revealed he thankfully avoided a season-ending injury. Instead, the final diagnosis was a bone contusion with an accompanying meniscus tear that will require surgery.

The time lost following a meniscus surgery is dependent on the procedure utilized, which is often dictated by the location and size of the tear. If the tear sits on the periphery of the disc, a meniscectomy, or removal, can be performed. Once the damaged tissue is excised, the associated symptoms can be treated, and a quick return is possible. Athletes who undergo meniscectomies can generally return in weeks, not months. However, the approach can lead to long-term complications, as part, or all, of the cartilage is no longer available for support and stability.

True meniscus repairs are only possible if the damage occurs in a very specific area of the injured disc. Repairs preserve the cartilage of the knee but come with a short-term setback, as the recovery is lengthier. Athletes who undergo meniscus repairs generally need multiple months to adequately recover.

Wilson is slated to undergo a meniscectomy on Tuesday, and the team has set the early estimated timeline for his return at two-to-four weeks. However, those interested in investing in Wilson may want to proceed with caution and prepare for a return on the latter end of this approximation. Wilson does have a history of injury on this knee, having missed four games last season with a sprained posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Furthermore, the concomitant bone bruise should not be overlooked. Bone contusions in the knee can be slow to heal based on the natural biomechanics of the knee. 

Veteran Joe Flacco will be New York's starting quarterback with Wilson sidelined. While the Jets do have a favorable schedule for quarterbacks to start the year, Flacco remains a risky fantasy play.

Arizona Cardinals Passing Game

The Arizona aerial attack is facing serious injury concerns up and down the depth chart. It starts with quarterback Kyler Murray. The $230.5 million man missed a stretch of training camp after contracting COVID-19 and is currently nursing a sore wrist. The Cardinals do not seem worried about Murray's long-term health and availability, but a return to full practice would ease any concerns about drafting him as a top-five quarterback.

Even if Murray is 100 percent entering the season, there is some doubt about who will be available to catch passes from the signal-caller. Top receiver DeAndre Hopkins will miss the first six weeks of the season serving a suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The team acquired Marquise Brown to help ease the loss, but Brown has been managing a hamstring strain since the start of training camp. The fourth-year receiver has improved his fantasy stock year-by-year but continues to show a propensity for injury. Since joining the NFL, Brown has dealt with multiple foot and lower extremity injuries, including a Lisfranc injury and a previous hamstring strain. As I discussed last week, hamstring strains for wide receivers can be particularly problematic, and Brown is no exception. Expect for Arizona to continue slow playing his recovery. A.J. Green and Rondale Moore remain the healthiest wideouts for the Cardinals with outside receiver Antoine Wesley still considering surgery for his lingering groin issue. 

The Cardinals tight ends remain just as injury riddled. Zach Ertz has been nursing a calf strain for more than a week now and remains limited. Coach Kliff Kingsbury believes Ertz is making progress in his rehab, but when he will be ready to return to action remains unclear. The same goes for rookie Trey McBride who continues to deal with lingering back soreness. Both players still have time to get healthy in time for Week 1, but fantasy managers have good reason to be hesitant on draft day. It is also worth mentioning, third-string tight end Maxx Williams was only recently activated from the PUP list after last year's ACL tear, though he isn't currently considered a viable fantasy option.  

Turf Burns

Kirk Cousins: The Vikings quarterback tested positive for COVID-19 and will be sidelined at least until Tuesday. He is reportedly dealing with minimal symptoms and should be fine once he is cleared to return to play.

N'Keal HarryI broke down Harry's injury last week, but clarity on his injury, specifically the surgery required, has surfaced. Harry underwent a procedure known as a TightRope Fixation to stabilize his high ankle sprain. In the technique, a specialized surgical cord is used instead of surgical screws. The TightRope runs across the tibia and fibula, and stabilizes the joint and reduces any separation that occurred during injury. With the bones back in alignment, the soft tissue injuries can adequately and appropriately heal. Harry is expected to miss at least eight weeks.

DJ Moore: While a sore shoulder kept Moore on the sidelines for Carolina's first preseason contest, the Panthers do not think the injury is serious. The decision to hold him out appears to be precautionary and, unless more information surfaces, this shouldn't impact his draft day value.

Rashaad Penny: The Seattle running back is dealing with a mild groin strain. The strain may be mild, but it's a reminder that Penny has a lengthy history of lower extremity injuries including time lost for hamstring and calf strains. While Penny is in line to be Seattle's lead back after Chris Carson's injury-related retirement, he will carry a high degree of injury risk entering the season. Anyone willing to invest in Penny may want to target Kenneth Walker in subsequent rounds.

Darren Waller: Waller is yet another position player suffering from a strained hamstring. While the team is downplaying the severity of the strain, the Raiders tight end has not practiced since July 30. He could return to action later this week, but he will closely monitored for the foreseeable future.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Stotts
Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
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