4:15pm: Given another chance to address this matter, Saleh is not committing to Wilson. The second-year Jets HC said (via the New York Post’s Brian Costello, on Twitter) the team is “keeping everything on the table” regarding their quarterback. Following a rough Wilson outing against the Patriots three weeks ago, Saleh said the plan was for the former No. 2 overall pick to start the rest of the season. With the Jets still contending for a playoff spot despite poor quarterback play, the team’s decision will obviously be one to monitor ahead of the team’s Week 12 game against the Bears.
While Wilson has been informed his job is not locked in any longer, Saleh did not indicate if either White or Joe Flacco would start if Wilson ended up being benched, Connor Hughes of SNY tweets. The Jets demoted Flacco, who remains their touchdown pass leader (with five) despite starting only three games this season, for White during Wilson’s latest run as their starter.
8:58am: During Sunday’s 10-3 loss to the Patriots, the Jets delivered one of their worst offensive performances in franchise history, once again leading to questions about their plans at the quarterback position moving forward. For at least one more week, though, no changes will be coming.
Zach Wilson completed just nine passes for 77 yards in the game, one in which the Jets mustered two yards of offense in the second half. As head coach Robert Saleh confirmed after the game, however, he did not consider benching the 23-year-old at any point during the contest. Moving on to backup Mike White under center is “the furthest thing from my mind,” Saleh added, via Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic (subscription required).
Sunday marked the fourth time in 2022 that Wilson completed fewer than 60% of his passes and threw for less than 160 yards. Taking into account the three games he missed at the start of the season due to a knee injury, that represents an alarming lack of development for the second-year passer. Wilson’s three-interception performance in Week 8 against the Patriots raised questions about Wilson’s grip on the starting role, but Saleh backed the former No. 2 overall pick then as he is doing now. Support from within the team’s locker room appears to dwindling, though.
Rookie wideout Garrett Wilson was among the most vocal players to voice their frustrations in the immediate aftermath of the loss. He stopped short of naming any one player or coach individually, but said that the staff “ha[s] to put more trust in the receiver room” to improve offensively.
“It starts in practice,” he added, via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “It’s got to be better, the things we see and don’t call out. It has to start getting called out. This is unacceptable. No one wants to feel like this, but that’s not enough… Hopefully, this is a wake-up for some people in the facility… to get on their details.”
Zach Wilson added further to the frustration with his performance when speaking after the game. He laid a much smaller portion of the blame on himself than expected, adding that he did not feel he and the offense let the rest of the team down. Per Cimini, there remain some “raw feelings” amongst New York’s defensive players, and Wilson’s lack of contrition “didn’t sit well” (Twitter link).
At 6-4, the Jets are now at the bottom of the AFC East. Their playoff hopes are still very much alive given the parity in their division and most of the AFC, but the QB position will remain under intense scrutiny in the coming days and weeks barring significant improvement.