The Jets insist they haven’t given up on Zach Wilson yet.
This comes despite the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft being benched twice this season, including during last week’s game against the Jaguars.
“He’s a talented football player,” Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said. “He’s a talented thrower.
“Like we’ve talked about, there’s things physically in the lower half that we got to get corrected, and we can start that today, we can start that last week, a month ago, we can start that last April and OTA’s, but it’s going to be all-encompassing. It’s going to be, again, the work he puts in today, but going through that whole offseason just resetting that lower half. Getting those feet in the ground, getting balanced and seeing where he can improve there.”
Mike White will start Sunday’s game against the Seahawks after missing the last two weeks after he suffered fractured ribs in the Week 14 loss to the Bills. Wilson will be inactive as Joe Flacco will serve as White’s backup.
This has been a precipitous fall for Wilson as the second-year quarterback was once thought of as the future leader of the Jets franchise. After he was benched following his dismal performance in Gang Green’s 10-3 loss to the Patriots last month, Wilson was inactive for three games. White, who joined the league as a fifth-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2018, led the Jets to a win over the Bears and then back-to-back losses to the Vikings and Bills.
After the Jets announced Wilson would be White’s backup for the Lions game on Dec. 18, doctors failed to clear White to play, forcing Wilson back under center.
Wilson’s performance in both games — the 20-17 loss to Detroit and the embarrassing 19-3 loss to the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football — left much to be desired. The former BYU star consistently missed open receivers and failed to read defenses properly. Now not only is White the Jets starting quarterback for the last two games of the season, and maybe the postseason, but Wilson’s future with the team is also very much in doubt.
The Jets are expected to move on from Wilson during the offseason, according to FOX Sports. But Jets coach Robert Saleh says that report is all “speculation” as the team still sees Wilson as a part of their future.
“I don’t think he’s looking at this and saying it’s an impossible hill to climb, I think he’s got a road to travel with regards to just tying all the things that we’ve been trying to get done here since the New England game. [I’ve] still got a lot of faith in him and his ability to work, just as a person and the amount of work that he puts in day-in and day-out and while it doesn’t look good and while it doesn’t seem like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, you just got to put your head down, just keep working. Eventually, it’ll come through,” Saleh said.
“There’s a lot of quarterbacks in this league who have made it out of the dark tunnel and if you look throughout the league, more quarterbacks than not have started in the dungeon, if you will, and have found their way out to sunlight, so, got a lot of confidence in him because of how important this is, what kind of a man he is, and how hard he’ll work.”