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Robert Saleh reveals how much Zach Wilson will play vs. Giants

Robert Saleh revealed how much Zach Wilson will play in the NY Jets' preseason opener against the NY Giants.
Robert Saleh, NY Jets, Getty Images

How much will Zach Wilson play in his preseason debut?

All eyes will linger on Zach Wilson‘s unofficial NFL debut when the New York Jets take the field against the crosstown rival New York Giants for their preseason opener on Saturday night.

Unlike the Giants, who don’t plan on featuring their own franchise man Daniel Jones, Jets head coach Robert Saleh said that Wilson and the Jets’ starters would play “about a quarter, a couple of series” on Saturday. Saleh said that the Giants’ plans affected what the Jets were going to do “to a degree”, but that his own players’ development would take priority.

“You have to get your guys ready,” Saleh said. “We are a very, very young football team and they’ve got to be able to go through the process of pregame, prepping themselves mentally and getting in their own space and getting ready to play a football game and then going out there and playing a couple of drives.

“If you count last year’s group, 30 guys on our roster, somewhere around there, that have never had preseason action. To me, this is a big deal. These moments are priceless, especially for this team.”

Availability of Elijah Moore, Alijah Vera-Tucker unclear

Those looking forward to the Jets debuts of Elijah Moore and Alijah Vera-Tucker might have to be a little more patient.

Moore, the Jets’ touted second-round receiver, left Thursday’s practice with what Saleh described as a quad injury. Saleh said that Moore will “probably” undergo an MRI and that his status for Saturday’s preseason opener against the New York Giants (7:30 p.m. ET, WNBC) is “depending on the prognosis.

“Whether it was nothing or something, (the medical staff) is always going to check and go through all those protocols to make sure that they check every box,” Saleh said, per notes from the Jets. “I’m trying to get a feel … I’m an optimist, so I’m never worried until I’m worried. Like I said, we’ll see. We’ll know more.”

Meanwhile, first-round selection Alijah Vera-Tucker is all but assured to miss Saturday’s action as he continues to deal with a pectoral injury. While Saleh cautioned that Vera-Tucker, the latter of the Jets’ couple of first-round picks, was a “more (of a) day-to-day” situation, he stressed that management isn’t “worried about him at all.”

“He’s getting closer. It’s just a matter for him, with his pec, just getting a little bit of strength,” Saleh said. “He is involved in all our walkthroughs, he’s involved in all the meetings. I think those walkthrough reps are valuable for him too, extremely valuable. But, anytime you don’t get those live reps, like I said all the way from the beginning, every player, every rep matters.

“He is missing it, but he’s got great intent, he’s studying, and if there’s anyone on this roster that can make up for it, I think he’d be one of them.”

Dan Feeney has taken over the primary left guard role in his absence.

Quinnen Williams’ return is imminent

Saleh had more optimistic news toward the status of Quinnen Williams, who has been sidelined since spring with a foot injury. While he will be eased into the new defense, the first-round choice from 2019 will be a full participant when the Jets prepare for their next preseason contest against Green Bay next weekend.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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