New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has been benched by coach Robert Saleh following a rough outing against the New England Patriots last week, a source confirmed to OutKick.
ESPN was first to report players were told in a team meeting that Wilson would not be the quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.
Head coach Robert Saleh said, “We’re going to roll with Mike White” and added Wilson will be inactive on Sunday. Joe Flacco will be the backup quarterback.
The Jets coach added, “Zach’s career here is not over.” He added, “the young man needs a reset” and the QB situation is now “day-to-day.”
Zach Wilson Will Be Inactive On Sunday
Saleh added Wilson needs to address his fundamentals and asking him to fix those while also preparing for a game is unfair.
“This is not putting a nail in his coffin,” Saleh said. “I just think [the situation] will continue to deteriorate if we keep throwing him out there.”
Saleh insisted the franchise has not has not lost faith in Wilson and said he has every intent of getting Wilson back in the starting role “at some point.”
The benching nonetheless signals a fundamental shift in the Jets overall philosophy.
That philosophy has been to make almost everything — drafting, trading, other team building — about Wilson. It’s been about letting him grow as the team around him grows.
That has stopped, at least for now. because the team has reached a level where it is a playoff contender. But Wilson has seemingly not grown, and perhaps even regressed in some ways.
So with the team around Wilson actually better than Wilson, Saleh is trying to bring the QB position to a higher level. He obviously doesn’t want the spot to be a drag on the team.
Saleh said Monday he was considering the switch after Wilson completed only 9 of 22 passes for 77 yards against the Patriots. It was the second time this year Wilson struggled against Bill Belichick’s defense.
Wilson Hasn’t Taken Accountability For Struggles With Jets
But perhaps just as problematic is the Wilson seemingly took no accountability for his play afterward. That has been addressed as well, according to Saleh.
Wilson has spoken with the team about taking accountability, Saleh said.
That doesn’t change the point that after 20 starts, the Jets quarterback is benched. This is truly a stunning move.
Wilson was the team’s first-round pick in the 2021 draft and was the second player taken overall and this move, Saleh admitted, “is a setback.”
Saleh said weeks ago White would be next man up to get an opportunity if the starter went down. “That opportunity is now,” Saleh said.
“He’s won games with us, he does a great job in practice, he’s done a great job in games for us,” Saleh added. “He’s extremely competent as a quarterback and has the ability to make all the throws on the football field and run the offense in a manner we need to.”