WIll Injuries Doom Wilson Like They Did Namath?

Are you ready for Mike White 2.0? Or another douse of Joe Flacco, or the possible magic of newcomer Chris Streveler?


Well, you may  have to get used to one outlet if Zach Wilson doesn’t return this season. However, don’t fret. There is a good chance Wilson will be back for the season opener against Baltimore.


If he isn’t or if he is gone for the season, Jets’ fans may be ready to jump off the George Washington Bridge.


Wilson injured the same knee he did last season, and you have to wonder if he is a victim of the Jets’ fate. You all know it and it has crossed your mind…same old Jets.


This latest version of the Jets’‘ franchise quarterback may endure the same issues as the last one – injuries.


Joe Namath’s knee injuries allowed him to play only 26 of 56 possible knee injuries from 1970 to 1973. Over the next three seasons, Namath made 35 of the projected 42 starts before he was jettisoned for his single season in LA in 1977.


His knee injuries never quite allowed him to return to his full status when he took the franchise to its lone Super Bowl.


Namath earlier this year denounced Wilson as being “too small,” and he needed to be in the range of a 6-4 or 6-5 quarterback. Ironically, Wilson, who is listed at 6-2, 210 pounds, ironically is listed bigger than Namath in his playing days (6-2, 200).


People scoffed at Namath, but maybe he was right.


I was a fan of the Giants drafting Saquon Barkley, but he has shown that he can’t be a 20- to-25 carry back over the past three years. Barkley has been rattled with injuries the past three years since a breakout rookie year. 


To me, Barkley hasn’t been able to take the grind of a workhorse back. The Giants need to line him up in the slot or circle him out of the backfield.


Now, you may have to look at Wilson in the same vein. If he does return soon and has the year everyones expects, the talk of him being brittle will be squelched. If he doesn’t, Jets’ fans may be looking for another quarterback savior. 


Should Wilson be gone for the year, White will get his encore. You may remember his four-game stint last season that put him in a quarterback controversy with Wilson after he led the Jets to an upset win over Cincinnati with his three-touchdown, 405-yard effort. 


However, White’s reign ended when he encountered a swarming Bills’ defense that made him look silly and intercepted him four times. The jury is still out on Streveler, a Cardinals’ castoff who had two garbage-time, touchdown passes late in a 24-21 win over the Eagles last week.  Flacco is their insurance policy, but not the long-term solution.


Over the next few weeks, we’ll find out whether Wilson is the answer, or if it’s possibly time to start scouring the 2023 draft allotment of quarterbacks.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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