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Zach Wilson returns, Joe Flacco out for New York Jets

The New York Jets‘ quarterback situation isn’t getting any less chaotic as of Tuesday as rookie quarterback Zach Wilson has been cleared to return, but quarterbacks Mike White and Joe Flacco have been placed on the COVID-19 list.

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New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) stands on the field after an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, England, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. Atlanta Falcons won the match 27-20. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) stands on the field after an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, England, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. Atlanta Falcons won the match 27-20. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Wilson had been sidelined the past four games with a sprained knee after suffering an injury in Week 7 but The Athletic reports the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft will return Sunday to start against the Houston Texans.

The Jets have relied on White and Flacco — who the team re-acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles just after the injury — while Wilson has been out, but White tested positive for COVID-19, and Flacco was deemed a close contact — both were put on the COVID list.

Oct 3, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) throws the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 3, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) throws the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

ESPN reports Wilson was cleared after medical evaluations on Monday and the status of the other quarterbacks did not figure into the decision to start him.

Quarterback Josh Johnson is being promoted from the practice squad to back up Wilson for the game.

Wilson has practiced the past two weeks on a limited basis, but the team didn’t want to put him on the field until he was 100% healthy, ESPN reports.

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Oct 3, 2021; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh hugs quarterback Zach Wilson before the game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium.

Oct 3, 2021; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh hugs quarterback Zach Wilson before the game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium.
(Kevin R. Wexler-USA TODAY Sports)

“We’re going to make sure we protect this young man,” head coach Robert Saleh said Monday. “When he’s fully healthy and he feels like there’s no limitations with his ability to play where he’s not thinking about the knee, we’ll get him back out there.”

The Jets (2-8) will travel to face the Texans (2-8) in Sunday’s Week 12 matchup with kickoff set for 1 p.m. EST.

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