Zach Wilson to start for Jets again, Mike White ruled out

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Jets quarterback Zach Wilson runs under pressure from New England Patriots defensive end Lawrence Guy.
Jets quarterback Zach Wilson runs under pressure from New England Patriots defensive end Lawrence Guy.
AP Photo/Steven Senne

Zach Wilson will be back under center for the Jets on Thursday night, as the team ruled out quarterback Mike White with a rib injury. 

Thursday will mark Wilson’s second-straight start back for Gang Green, after he was benched in Week 11, but returned when White suffered an injury against the Buffalo Bills. 

Last week, when White was first ruled out, Wilson took the starting job against the Detroit Lions, but led the team to a tough 20–17 loss. 

He finished that game with 18 completions on 35 attempts for 317 yards, while recording two touchdowns and an interception. 


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The team now head back to MetLife Stadium for a home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with their playoff hopes hanging in the balance as they sit at 7–7 on the season. 

Wilson, who the team had selected second overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, has shown lackluster play in the seven games he played (after missing the first three contests with his own injury), and was eventually relegated to the bench. 

Between Week 4 and Week 11, Wilson saw a rough 55.56% completion rate, while throwing for 182.7 yards per game, and totaled 4 touchdowns and five picks. 

He was yanked from the starting role after a terrible performance against the New England Patriots, when he completed just 9 passes on 22 attempts, and led the team to just 3 points against their divisional rival. 

That’s when White took over. 

The former fifth round pick came to the Jets after a brief and uneventful stint with the Dallas Cowboys, and worked his way up to the active roster. 

Rather than turn to veteran Joe Flacco when Wilson was benched, head coach Robert Saleh gave the nod to White, and he quickly became a favorite among fans and his teammates. 

He threw for 317.3 yards per game, while recording four total touchdowns. 

On top of his stats, his teammates rallied around him in a way that they never did for Wilson — especially during his gutsy performance against the Bills, when he played through the same injury that has now forced him to miss two games. 

“He’s a f—king soldier,’’ said running back Michael Carter.

“He battled, man,’’ said Braxton Berrios.

“He was awesome,” said head coach Robert Saleh. “He showed everybody else what we already knew in regard to how tough he is.”

This will be Wilson’s second chance to prove that his benching was a chance to reset, rather than the end of his time with Gang Green. 

He will need to play well if the Jets want to keep their playoff dreams alive. The team has not made the postseason in over a decade. 

They are currently on the outside-looking-in, as they trail the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Chargers by one game for the final Wild Card spot. 

They will end their season, two games after Thursday’s matchup, with a game against the Dolphins, which gives them hope that they will continue to have a real shot at making it — but they will need to win this week. 

That will now fall largely on the shoulders of Zach Wilson.

For more coverage of Zach Wilson and the Jets, head to amNY.com.