Jets flip to White at QB to offer Wilson ‘a reset’

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — 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 staff assembly, later confirming to reporters that Mike White will begin Sunday in opposition to the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Joe Flacco would be the No. 2 quarterback; Wilson can be inactive.

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

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

“Zach’s profession right here shouldn’t be over,” Saleh mentioned. “I do know that is going to be the narrative and I do know that is what everyone needs to shout out, however that is not even near the case. The complete intent is to verify Zach will get again on the soccer discipline this season. When that’s, I am going to make that call. I am going to take it day-to-day.”

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

“There are some fundamental elementary issues have gotten actually out of whack for him,” Saleh mentioned. “That is simply a chance for him to take a seat again, deal with these issues and discover a approach to reconnect with all of the various things we fell in love with through the draft course of. It is 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 do not need 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 displaying. Saleh wasn’t proud of the feedback however insisted that 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 important as a result of it marked the primary time Wilson’s job safety was known as into query by the staff.

Wilson addressed the staff, based on Saleh. He declined to reveal 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. Each losses had been to the New England Patriots.

However 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 stick to Wilson for the rest of the season. That got here after a three-interception nightmare.

All the things modified Sunday, when Wilson was inept as he directed one of many worst offensive performances in staff historical past. The Jets managed solely 103 whole yards, which Saleh known 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 obtained two extra begins: an incomplete sport in opposition to the Indianapolis Colts (he left with an harm) and a four-interception clunker in opposition to the Buffalo Payments.

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

And now he’s.

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