Jets bench Zach Wilson, turn to Mike White as starting QB

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Embattled New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, hailed solely a yr in the past as a franchise savior, goes to the bench in a dramatic shake-up.

Coach Robert Saleh made the bombshell announcement in a late-morning group assembly, later confirming to reporters that Mike White will begin Sunday towards the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Joe Flacco would be the No. 2 quarterbacks; Wilson shall be inactive.

It’s a major pivot for a corporation that had geared nearly every thing round Wilson since drafting him second general in 2021. It raises questions on the way forward for their quarterback place, a proposition the Jets by no means thought they’d have to confront so quickly.

Saleh stated they hope to play Wilson once more this season.

“Zach’s profession right here is just not over,” Saleh stated. “I do know that is going to be the narrative and I do know that is what all people needs to shout out, however that is not even shut to the case. The full intent is to make certain Zach will get again on the soccer area this season. When that’s, I’ll make that call. I’ll take it day-to-day.”

That, after all, opens the door to a possible quarterback controversy if White is profitable. Saleh, attempting to create a constructive spin on Wilson, stated “the younger man wants a reset.

“There are some fundamental elementary issues which have gotten actually out of whack for him,” Saleh stated. “This is simply a chance for him to sit again, concentrate on these issues and discover a manner to reconnect with all of the various things we fell in love with through the draft course of. It’s one thing I really feel like he’ll have the ability to do. “

The Jets (6-4), hoping to finish an 11-year playoff drought, have shifted right into a win-now mode. They consider their protection is championship caliber and don’t desire to waste this chance due to erratic quarterback play.

Wilson handed for a career-low 77 yards in Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots and created a firestorm by refusing to take any blame for the offense’s dismal exhibiting. Saleh wasn’t proud of the feedback however insisted that it did not issue into the choice to bench Wilson.

On Monday, Saleh met with Wilson and advised him he was evaluating the quarterback place, later telling reporters the identical factor. The non-endorsement was vital as a result of it marked the primary time Wilson’s job safety was referred to as into query by the group.

Wilson addressed the group, in accordance to Saleh. He declined to disclose specifics, but it surely was presumably about his postgame feedback.

The Jets are 5-2 since Wilson’s return from knee surgical procedure in August. Both losses have been to the New England Patriots.

But the Jets are profitable with protection, not with the passing assault. Wilson has solely 4 landing passes and has exceeded 210 yards in solely two of his seven begins.

Publicly, Saleh remained supportive, saying after the Oct. 20 loss to the Patriots that he would follow Wilson for the rest of the season. That got here after a three-interception nightmare.

Everything modified Sunday, when Wilson was inept as he directed one of many worst offensive performances in group historical past. The Jets managed solely 103 complete yards, which Saleh referred to as “unacceptable.”

White is hardly a certain factor; he has solely three profession begins.

With Wilson nursing a knee harm final season, White achieved near-cult-hero standing in his first profession begin, throwing for 405 yards and three touchdowns in an upset of the Cincinnati Bengals. The 2018 Dallas Cowboys draft choose bought two extra begins: an incomplete recreation towards the Indianapolis Colts (he left with an harm) and a four-interception clunker towards the Buffalo Bills.

White started this season as the No. 3 quarterbacks, behind Wilson and Flacco. The group modified the depth chart in Week 8, selling White to QB2 — a swap that left some across the group scratching their heads. Saleh stated it was to “enable him the chance to put together as if he’s the subsequent man up.”

And now he’s.

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