Joe Flacco

Jets To Start QB Joe Flacco In Week 18; Mike White Has Five Broken Ribs

4:15pm: Make that five broken ribs for White, who confirmed the total Friday (via NJ.com’s Andy Vasquez). Two-plus months from free agency, White said the injuries are not expected to be an issue for too long into the offseason.

10:24am: The Jets cleared Mike White for a Week 17 start in what became a do-or-die game. White struggled in a one-sided loss to the Seahawks, but his rib trouble became an issue early in that outing.

A hit near the end of the first half in the Jets’ 23-6 loss in Seattle provided a setback for White, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports the veteran backup-turned-starter is dealing with four broken ribs (Twitter link). White had attempted to play through this issue this week, but Robert Saleh said an end-of-half blow became a major issue (via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, on Twitter) henceforth. Set to close out his age-37 season, Joe Flacco will receive the call against the Dolphins.

White’s injury deteriorated throughout this week, Rapoport adds, nixing plans to start. The popular QB’s season will end early because of the injury that blunted his momentum. The Jets’ Week 17 loss eliminated them from playoff contention, providing little reason for them to trot out their preferred starter again. Barring a new contract, White is ticketed for free agency in March.

The Jets are not deviating from their latest plan to give Zach Wilson a reset. Wilson will again be inactive, with Saleh adding (via Cimini) the team is focusing on Wilson’s development for the 2023 season at this point. The former No. 2 overall pick has been twice removed from his starting role this season. After having been bumped to the backup gig following demotion No. 1, the erratic BYU product was inactive for Week 17. Wilson’s future with the Jets is up in the air, though the team continues to publicly convey long-term support. Wilson is signed through the 2024 season.

White’s clearance for Week 17 injected some hope into the Jets’ building after Wilson’s meltdown against the Jaguars, but the injury he suffered against the Bills weeks ago ended up being too much to overcome. He strung together back-to-back solid performances against the Bears and Vikings, but he will exit his contract year in need of more recovery time.

Flacco, who started over White in place of an injured Wilson during the season’s first three weeks, is also playing on an expiring contract. The Jets will end the season with Flacco and White each having started four games, with Wilson getting the call in the other nine. It can be safely assumed Saleh’s team, which improved significantly on defense this season, will be on the hunt for a veteran starter option this coming offseason.

Jets QB Mike White Cleared To Return; Zach Wilson To Be Inactive

The Jets’ playoff hopes have received a significant boost today. Quarterback Mike White has been medically cleared to return to game action in time for Week 17, and he will resume his role as the team’s starting quarterback (Twitter link via Brian Costello of the New York Post).

The news comes after White missed the past two games with multiple fractured ribs. He exited the Jets’ loss to the Bills on more than one occasion after taking significant hits, and was clearly playing through pain by the end of the contest. He underwent testing from numerous doctors in his push to return as quickly as possible, but ultimately missed the past two games while recovering.

That opened the door to Zach Wilson taking over the No. 1 role once again, after he had been benched in favor of White earlier in the year. The 2021 second overall pick delivered a better performance than most of his others during his brief NFL tenure in a 20-17 loss to the Lions in Week 15. However, he followed that up with a showing last Thursday which included 92 passing yards and an interception. Wilson was replaced by Chris Streveler midway through New York’s hugely underwhelming loss to Jacksonville, a result which put their playoff chances in significant jeopardy.

More importantly, it marked another missed opportunity for Wilson to establish himself as the franchise signal-caller he was drafted to become. That has led to recent reporting that the Jets could be looking to part ways with the BYU product this offseason, despite two years (with the potential of three, due to the fifth-year option) remaining on his rookie contract. Such a move would constitute an abject failure for all parties involved, given the draft capital New York invested in Wilson to provide them with long-term stability at the position.

As White earns his job back, Wilson will again drop to the No. 3 spot on the Jets’ depth chart. Same as it was in the weeks immediately following Wilson’s demotion, the second-year passer is set to be inactive going forward. Joe Flacco will back up White, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones tweets. Barring injury, White is the starter for the rest of the season, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. Since his return from an August PCL injury, Wilson has gone from starter to third-stringer to second-stringer, back to starter and now back to the third-string depth chart slot.

Despite Wilson’s rough ride as Gang Green’s starter in his second season, Robert Saleh still places faith in his long-term value. The Jets are shutting him down again, and although Sunday’s report indicated this could be it for the ex-BYU starter in the Big Apple, Saleh is again attempting to soften the landing here.

The plan for Zach hasn’t changed. I still think he has a future here,” Saleh said, via Cimini. “I still think he’s going to be a really good quarterback. He needs time to just kind of sit back and continue the development that we were trying re-kick start, if you will, after the New England game. We still have him in our future and in our plans.”

White flashed potential while filling in for an injured Wilson last season, and has likewise done enough in his three starts in 2022 to earn head coach Saleh’s trust in the final weeks of the season. The former Cowboys fifth-rounder has averaged just over 317 passing yards per game, though that figure has only resulted in three touchdown passes against a pair of interceptions. Still, the offense’s overall productivity with him under center makes the decision to go back to him as soon as possible an unsurprising one.

White is a pending free agent, something which, along with the uncertainty surrounding Wilson’s future in the Big Apple, leaves the quarterback position one filled with plenty of intrigue heading into 2023. In the immediate future, though, White will look to end the four-game losing streak which has the Jets currently sitting at 7-8. A Wild Card spot is still possible if he can regain the form he showed prior to the injury.

Jets To Bench QB Zach Wilson For Week 12

10:41am: White will receive the call against Chicago, Saleh said. The former Cowboys fifth-round pick made three starts for an injured Wilson last season. White, 27, completed 66.7% of his passes last season and threw five touchdown passes against eight interceptions. Flacco will be White’s backup, per Saleh, who said (via the New York Post’s Brian Costello, on Twitter) Wilson will be inactive.

White created tremendous buzz with his 400-yard game against the eventual AFC champion Bengals, but after suffering an injury in the Jets’ ensuing game, he crashed back to earth via a four-INT dud against the Bills. By benching a formerly coveted prospect for White, the Jets are placing a great deal of faith in a player who has not taken a 2022 snap.

10:03am: Robert Saleh opened the door to a Zach Wilson benching Monday, and the Jets are following through with the move. During a Wednesday team meeting, players learned the second-year quarterback will be benched for Week 12, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

Considering the investment the Jets made in Wilson, it is obviously a major development they are sitting him due to performance issues so early in his tenure. The team bailed on a No. 3 overall pick (Sam Darnold) after three seasons to take Wilson second overall. But Wilson has floundered since returning from a preseason knee injury, putting Saleh in a bind.

At 6-4, the Jets have a chance to secure their first playoff berth since 2011. That currently represents the NFL’s longest postseason drought — by a considerable margin. The team has greatly improved on defense, vaulting from 32nd in Saleh’s first year to being a top-10 unit in both total defense and points allowed. Wilson has done well to restrict that defense, struggling to justify that No. 2 overall investment.

Wilson, who rocketed onto the first-round radar after a breakthrough 2020 season at BYU, has completed less than 56% of his passes this season and has thrown just four touchdown passes in seven 2022 starts. Wilson’s 55.6% completion rate matches his 13-start rookie figure, inviting concern — especially with the Jets making more investments at receiver this offseason. The Jets are coming off one of the worst offensive performances in franchise history. Their 103 total yards is the fourth-lowest number in franchise annals. Their Wilson-directed Week 18 showing last season (53) ranks as the worst.

Wilson’s comments after his 9-for-22, 77-yard outing in Foxborough also became an issue. The young passer indicating he did not feel he let his defense down rankled some defensive players. Saleh keeping Wilson as the starter may have created a locker room problem. Addressing the situation, Saleh said (via SNY’s Connor Hughes, on Twitter) “maybe there’s a little irritation at the moment, but I don’t think there’s hate.” Still, this could be a significant turning point for the Jets, who have invested tremendous draft capital at the quarterback position in recent years. Wilson remaining on the bench the rest of the way certainly calls his long-term status into question.

The Jets recently demoted Week 1 starter Joe Flacco to their third-string post, moving Mike White — their initial Wilson replacement last year — to the backup job. White emerged as a Wilson threat last year, after becoming the first Jet to surpass 400 passing yards since Vinny Testaverde in an upset win over the Bengals. That talk died down after White struggled to replicate that form, however. When asked who would take over for Wilson if he did not receive the call against the Bears, Saleh did not say whether it would be White or Flacco. Despite starting just three games, Flacco still leads the Jets with five touchdown passes this season. Whoever does receive the call will be tasked with keeping the Jets in the playoff mix.

The Jets could conceivably circle back to Wilson, justifying this as a temporary shutdown to allow for further development. In explaining his decision to bench Wilson, Saleh said the former mid-major prospect’s Jets career is “not over.” Saleh said the intent is for Wilson to play again this season.

While undoubtedly a blow to the team’s big-picture plan, Wilson also is not showing improvement during second season as a full-time starter. The Jets zeroed in on Wilson in 2021, moving the draft’s suspense to the 49ers’ No. 3 spot. After the Jaguars went with locked-in No. 1 prospect Trevor Lawrence, the Jets went with Wilson, doing so despite the latter’s 2020 rise aided by a COVID-19-altered BYU schedule that featured lesser opposition. The Jets will face one of the QBs they bypassed — Justin Fields — on Sunday.

Jets Not Committing To Zach Wilson As Week 12 Starter

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.

Jets Not Considering Sticking With Joe Flacco As Starter

SEPTEMBER 25: Wilson is expected to be cleared by doctors next week, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (Twitter link). Assuming that happens, Wilson will be in line to start the Jets’ Week 4 contest against the Steelers.

Per Rapoport, Wilson has experienced no setbacks in his recovery and has continued to make good progress.

SEPTEMBER 22: The highwater marks of the past two Jets seasons have come with their high-end quarterback prospect sidelined. Nearly a year after Mike White‘s 400-yard game keyed an upset over the Bengals, Joe Flacco led the NFL’s first 13-point comeback inside of two minutes in 21 years.

But the development of Zach Wilson remains the team’s objective. While Flacco will start in Week 3, Robert Saleh said the Jets will not hesitate to go back to their second-year starter once he is ready ready to return. Wilson remains out due to the August knee surgery he underwent.

Zach’s the future of the organization. We all know that,” Saleh said, via the New York Post’s Brian Costello. “As soon as the doctors clear him, we’ll get him on the field.”

Flacco’s throwback performance in Cleveland (307 yards, four touchdown passes) could prompt calls for the Jets to keep their 37-year-old backup in the mix. This would remind of the brief Jets QB quandary that came about last season after White’s work against the Bengals. White’s four-interception game against the Bills two weeks later quieted the campaigns for him to keep the gig. After one Flacco start, Wilson was back under center for the final games of the season.

Saleh said before the season Wilson would miss at least the team’s first three games. The former No. 2 overall pick returning in Week 4 is not yet a certainty. Wilson will ramp up his activity this week, but Saleh did not guarantee next week will be the BYU product’s return window. That still looks to remain a realistic target, at least, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Week 3 will mark Wilson’s seventh missed game as a pro.

Their Cleveland comeback notwithstanding, the Jets remain a rebuilding team. They added a few pieces on offense to further assist Wilson — from guard Laken Tomlinson to No. 10 overall pick Garrett Wilson — but his injuries and rookie-year struggles have injected some doubt into the team’s quarterback plan. It remains relatively early, however, as Zach Wilson has not yet taken a regular-season snap with Gang Green’s improved offense. A fair amount of pressure could await the young quarterback upon returning, however. It will be interesting to see how long of a leash Saleh provides if Wilson (30th in 2021 QBR) is ineffective when he comes back.

Joe Flacco To Remain Jets’ Starting QB

SEPTEMBER 14: Flacco will indeed return as the Jets’ starter for a second week, according to ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini. The Jets did not give strong consideration to benching the 15th-year veteran for White. The team’s Wilson-less schedule stretch includes the Browns next.

SEPTEMBER 13: The Jets’ season began with a loss in which the offense delivered an underwhelming performance. As the team awaits the return of Zach Wilsonthe question of who should start at quarterback in Week 2 has been raised. 

When speaking to the media yesterday, head coach Robert Saleh admitted that “everything is under discussion and under review” at the position (Twitter link via Connor Hughes of SNY). However, he reiterated his confidence in Joe Flacco, who played the entirety of New York’s loss to Baltimore.

The 37-year-old’s performance in the contest — 307 yards on 37-of-59 passing, with one touchdown and one interception — has led to speculation that the Jets could turn to Mike White moving forward. Saleh said, though, that “Joe has been very, very steady throughout OTAs, training camp. As of now, Joe is our starting quarterback.”

Since the midseason injury which ended his Ravens career in 2018, Flacco has made a total of 14 starts split between his time with the Broncos and Jets. He has won just two of those, both of which came in Denver. Despite the lack of success with the former Super Bowl MVP, the Jets re-signed him this offseason on a one-year, $3.5MM deal. That made him the likeliest candidate to open the season, with White operating as the backup.

Wilson continues to recover from his preseason knee injury; Week 1 was initially considered a possibility, but the Jets have understandably remained cautious with last year’s No. 2 pick. No firm commitment has been made yet with respect to a Week 2 starter, but Saleh appears prepared to maintain the status quo at the position heading into the team’s game against the Browns on Sunday.

Jets To Start Joe Flacco Vs. Ravens

The NFL continues to see quarterback rematches lining its Week 1 schedule. Joe Flacco will now join Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield in going against a former employer this week.

Flacco will start in place of Zach Wilson in Sunday’s Jets-Ravens tilt, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Although the Jets left the door open to Wilson beginning the season on time, Flacco was viewed as their most likely season-opening starter. The matchup will come against the team with which Flacco spent 11 seasons to start his career.

It will be an extended run for Flacco under center. Robert Saleh said Wednesday the Jets will not have Wilson until at least Week 4. This will bring a second straight season with a prolonged Wilson absence. He missed four games as a rookie. The Jets face the Browns and Bengals in Weeks 2 and 3. Completing their rare all-AFC North start to the season, the Jets face the Steelers in Week 4.

Wilson, who suffered a PCL injury in the Jets’ preseason opener, underwent arthroscopic surgery three weeks ago. Wilson also sustained a knee contusion. Knee trouble was the cause of Wilson’s 2021 hiatus as well. It makes sense for the Jets not to rush the former No. 2 overall pick back and, for this week at least, Flacco starting in the high-end prospect’s place adds intrigue.

Flacco has been gone from Baltimore since 2019, when the Ravens traded him to the Broncos for a fourth-round pick. But he has yet to face his former squad. The Jets, who had initially acquired Flacco in 2020, landed him again — via trade from the Eagles, for a sixth-round choice — in 2021. Flacco re-signed with the Jets, for one year and $3.5MM, in March.

The Jets could save a roster spot by placing Wilson on IR, but that would knock him out for four games. With Wilson’s development being front and center to the Jets’ 2022 cause, the team keeping him on its 53-man roster in hopes of only a three-game absence is logical. Keeping Wilson active will enable him to continue practicing. While the starter continues his recovery, Mike White will be positioned as Flacco’s backup.

Still, this is a tough development for a Jets team eager to see what it has in Wilson. The team has used some high-level resources to build an offense around him. This year alone, the team drafted Garrett Wilson 10th overall and gave Laken Tomlinson a lucrative deal in free agency. The Jets are already without 2020 first-rounder Mekhi Becton for the season. Wilson’s second notable NFL injury adds another bad break for the rebuilding team.

Latest On Jets QB Zach Wilson

After suffering a torn meniscus and a bone bruise in the Jets’ preseason opener, Zach Wilson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery Tuesday. The second-year quarterback has resumed walking, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, who notes no additional knee damage was found during the operation.

But a Week 1 return may still be a bridge too far. Joe Flacco will likely be the Jets’ season-opening starter, Cimini adds. The Jets were cautious with Wilson last year, after he suffered a PCL injury. The former No. 2 overall pick returned to practice for three weeks before the team gave him the green light to play. Unsurprisingly, the Jets again plan to be cautious with their latest top-five quarterback draftee.

We’re going to do right by him in terms of making sure he’s 100% healthy,” Robert Saleh said. “We’re going to take it by how Zach looks, how he feels, how he moves, what the doctors tell us. Whenever that moment is, he’ll step on the field.”

Wilson was initially given a two- to four-week return timetable. Just more than three weeks remain until Week 1. Wilson has seen injuries hijack developmental time early in his career, having missed four rookie-year games. His missing time to start this season would begin to remind of Sam Darnold‘s years with the Jets. Injuries and a mononucleosis bout, respectively, kept Darnold off the field for at least three games in each of his three Jets campaigns.

The Jets re-signed Flacco, 37, on a one-year, $3.5MM deal ($2.85MM guaranteed) this offseason. He has made five starts for the Jets in two seasons. The team is winless with the former Super Bowl MVP at the controls. While Mike White led the Jets to a surprise win over the Bengals last season, Saleh confirmed Flacco is Wilson’s top backup. The Jets’ September slate features games against the Ravens, Browns and Bengals.

Jets To Re-Sign Joe Flacco

As many expected, Joe Flacco will be staying in New York. The Jets have re-signed the veteran to a one-year contract (Twitter link via ESPN’s Rich Cimini). His colleague Adam Schefter adds that the deal is worth $3.5MM plus incentives (Twitter link). 

Jets general manager Joe Douglas has made it clear throughout the offseason that his preference was to keep the 37-year-old, along with Mike White, in the hopes of maintaining the current QB room led by Zach Wilson. On that point, Brian Costello of The New York Post tweets that the team has placed an original round tender (valued at $2.6MM) on White.

A first round pick of the Ravens in 2008, Flacco is of course best remembered for his MVP performance in Super Bowl XLVII, which capped off a playoff run that came at the best possible time for him financially. A mega-extension signed that offseason was followed by inconsistency, and was a large part of the reason for his departure from Baltimore.

After failing to secure the long-term starting role in Denver, Flacco’s first go-round with the Jets in 2020 was equally unsuccessful. He lost all four of his starts, completing just over 55% of his passes. He got closer to home by signing with the Eagles last offseason, but was traded back to New York before the deadline. He lost his lone start filling in for Wilson, but threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns in the process.

With Flacco and, in all likelihood, White, back in the fold, the Jets’ QB situation appears to be set for 2022.

Jets Want To Re-Sign Joe Flacco

The Jets are looking to re-sign quarterback Joe Flacco, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The feeling is mutual, Cimini adds, so a deal could come together rather quickly. 

[RELATED: Jets’ Crowder Likely To Hit Free Agency]

The same goes for youngster Mike White, who can be cuffed as a restricted free agent. So, while other teams around the league are making major moves under center, head coach Robert Saleh intends to keep his current trio, led by Zach Wilson.

The Jets traded for Flacco before the 2021 deadline, sending a conditional sixth-round choice to the Eagles in exchange. The veteran went on to make two appearances, including a Week 11 start against the Dolphins. Between those two games, Flacco completed 64% of his throws for 338 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions.

That was a big step up from Flacco’s previous run with Gang Green. In 2020, he completed a career-low 55% of his passes and averaged just 6.4 yards per attempt. Now at the age of 37, Flacco can serve as an experienced mentor for the Jets young signal callers.

In other Jets news, wide receiver Jamison Crowder is expected to reach free agency. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise — Crowder enjoyed a strong 2019 debut with the Jets but has been hampered by injuries ever since. With Crowder out of the picture, the Jets are expected to target a starting-caliber receiver as well as a quality tight end.