On the heels of Mike White‘s 400-yard debut which keyed a Jets upset win over the Bengals, Robert Saleh did not shoot down the possibility of White pushing Zach Wilson for the starting job once the prized rookie returned from injury.
The first-year coach said postgame the team would go day to day regarding the team’s quarterback outlook and that “anything is possible” here. A day later, Saleh said (via the New York Post’s Mike Cannizzaro), “If everything goes according to plan and Zach comes back and he’s healthy, we’ll address it when we cross that bridge.” Third-year GM Joe Douglas addressed this topic Tuesday.
“I’m in lockstep with the coach. I’m going to piggyback on everything coach said and we’re going to cross that bridge when we get to it,” Douglas said of the team’s QB depth chart (via Newsday’s Al Iannazzone).
Douglas, of course, used the No. 2 overall pick on Wilson this year. This move came shortly after the Jets concluded their previous would-be franchise QB’s run, when they traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers. Wilson has not played especially well thus far — joining a couple of his rookie-year brethren in struggling early. Wilson’s 25.9 Total QBR figure ranks 32nd, ahead of only Justin Fields, and the BYU product has thrown four touchdown passes compared to nine interceptions.
A former Cowboys fifth-rounder who has been with the Jets since 2019, White completed 37 passes — an NFL record for a first-time starter — and joined Cam Newton as the only first-start QBs to surpass 400 passing yards. White’s 405-yard day marked the first Jets 400-yard passing performance since Vinny Testaverde in 2000. Despite the Jets having traded for Joe Flacco, he of 175 career starts (including four with Gang Green last year), White is set for his second start Thursday. Flacco was not active for the Jets’ comeback win over the Bengals.
Any potential decision on a long-term change would not happen until Week 10. The Jets did not place Wilson on IR, hoping he can return from his PCL injury without being moved off the active roster for three games.
“I feel like he was on his way to really taking off in that New England game prior to the injury,” Douglas said of Wilson. “He’s a tough-minded young man. He has great work ethic. I think you’re going to continue to see him just shoot up. His arrow is pointing straight up. He’s going to continue to get better every day once he gets back on the field.”