Friday's NFL: Jets QB Wilson injures knee in preseason game against Eagles

By Dave Campbell
Associated Press

Philadelphia — New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson injured his right knee in the first quarter in Friday night’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

After going back to pass, Wilson was flushed out of the pocket and scrambled to his right for 7 yards, but went down after the play. He appeared to injure his knee when planting to cut on Philadelphia’s grass field.

After being checked by trainers, Wilson limped to the sideline on his own power before heading to the locker room. The Jets announced Wilson was questionable to return with a knee injury.

New York Jets' Zach Wilson walks on the sidelines after he is taken off the field following an injury during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Philadelphia.

There are high hopes this year for the 23-year-old Wilson, who was drafted No. 2 overall last year. He had an up-and-down rookie season, throwing nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 13 games, but went without an interception in his final five games.

Wilson was shaky in his first series against Philadelphia’s starters, going 1 for 3 for 10 yards with an interception. Eagles linebacker Kyzir White stepped in front of Wilson’s intended pass for wide receiver Corey Davis and returned it 27 yards to the Jets 20 on what appeared to be a poor read by the New York quarterback. Wilson’s first pass of the game was a badly thrown out-route intended for rookie first-round pick Garrett Wilson.

Wilson struggled with accuracy last season, ranking last in the league in completion rate (55.6%) and passer rating (69.7). His decision-making and accuracy had looked better this summer during training camp.

Before his injury, Zach Wilson was sharper in his second series, albeit against Philadelphia backups. He connected with tight end Tyler Conklin for 4 yards and then hit wide receiver Elijah Moore for 10 yards, finishing 3 for 5 for 24 yards and an interception.

The Jets also have 37-year-old Joe Flacco, but he was not in uniform for the game as a handful of veterans did not play in the preseason opener.

Vikings' Kirk Cousins has COVID-19, won't play preseason opener

Eagan, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not play this weekend in the team’s first preseason game.

Coach Kevin O’Connell confirmed the diagnosis Friday at practice, where the former Michigan State standout was absent for a second straight day. Cousins felt ill Thursday and was sent home.

With Kirk Cousins (8) out for the Vikings' preseason opener, Kellen Mond (11) will split time at quarterback.

“I like the way he handled it, reporting the symptoms and going through our in-house process we have here,” O’Connell said. “Ultimately looking out for his teammates and making sure we’ll get him back, ready to roll as soon as possible.”

Cousins has “very minimal” symptoms, O’Connell said.

Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond will split time in the exhibition Sunday at Las Vegas, where Cousins was unlikely to play much, if at all, even if he wasn’t sick. There are no other quarterbacks on the roster.

“No matter who starts, they’re both going to play a ton. Big evaluation game for us of those guys,” O’Connell said. “They’ve done a lot of really good things in camp, and now we get to see them play against a complete defensive structure, different coverages. I think it’ll be good for those guys.”

The Vikings are planning, roughly, an even split of the snaps against the Raiders.

“If a guy gets hot, starts feeling maybe he should take one more or two-minute or something like that, we’ll always adapt,” O’Connell said. “But we’ll have plenty of snaps to make it right through these next three games.”

Cousins missed Minnesota’s second-to-last game of the 2021 season after testing positive for COVID-19. He also missed five days in training camp last year due to what was deemed a close contact. Cousins followed NFL protocols for unvaccinated players last season.

Earlier this year, the league suspended all coronavirus protocols. The current recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is for people who test positive to isolate from others for at least five days. Isolation can end, the CDC says, if they are fever-free for 24 hours without medication and experiencing improvement in symptoms.

The Vikings’ next practice is Tuesday, putting Cousins on track to return to the field then, assuming he’s feeling fine.