FLORHAM PARK, NJ — The New York Jets are surrendering their fading playoff hopes Zach WilsonWho’s the starting quarterback Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars?
Coach Robert Saleh, who announced the decision on Tuesday, doesn’t seem to have much choice. Mike WhiteSaleh says he was not cleared by doctors after suffering broken ribs nine days ago in Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions.
They didn’t rule White out for the final two games, which Sale called a “week-to-week evaluation.”
According to ESPN analysis, the Jets (7-7) have lost three straight and have just a 13% chance of making the playoffs. Their place in the rankings will influence next week’s exam. If they’re still in contention and White is destroyed by contact, it sets the stage for a major decision.
For now, Saleh is doing his best to rally around Wilson, who is coming off an uneven start in a 20-17 loss against the Lions.
“There have been quarterbacks throughout history that took a while to find their groove,” Saleh said. “So when you look at Zach, there’s a lot of things you can’t teach him. Some of the things he does you can’t teach.
“For him, it’s just the timing and rhythm aspect, the intermediate passing game and finding that consistency for four quarters. When he’s in rhythm, when he’s hitting on all cylinders, it’s really cool to watch.”
Wilson, who returned from a three-game benching to face Detroit, showed the arm strength that led to the Jets taking him second overall in 2021. He was “on fire” in the first half, Saleh said.
He passed for 317 yards and two touchdowns, but he missed several open receivers and threw costly third-quarter interceptions. His no-goal percentage (35.3) was a season high, according to ESPN Stats and Information Research.
Overall, Wilson is 5-3 as a starter. A wild quarter, the Jets have also started Joe Flacco (1-2) and white (1-2).
Chances were the Jets would have continued with Wade, but that changed on Dec. 11 when he was drilled in the ribs by a Buffalo Bills linebacker. Matt Milan.
The Jets wanted to play White last week after learning he had broken ribs, but made the surprise announcement last Friday that Wilson would start against the Lions. Saleh said White was not allowed to be contacted by team or outside doctors.
That hasn’t changed, apparently.
“All for Mike is to give him the opportunity to seek second opinions and make sure all the boxes are checked for him and his team,” Saleh said. “As coaches, we allow that process. Once everything is in place, we make a decision.”
When he benched Wilson on Nov. 23, Saleh said his intention was to have Wilson back in the lineup before the end of the season — but that wasn’t the case.
Among other injury developments, the star defensive tackle Quinn Williams It will be a game-time decision and Salah is optimistic about his chances after missing out last week.