Zach Wilson benched: Jets players informed former top pick will not start vs. bears; Mike White gets nod at QB

The New York Jets are making a quarterback change. Jets players were informed during a team meeting Wednesday that Zach Wilson would not start Sunday’s game vs. the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN and confirmed by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones.

It will be Mike White who replaces Wilson under center. He gets the nod over veteran Joe Flacco. The former Super Bowl MVP started the first three games this season when Wilson was sidelined due to injury. He went 1-2, completing 58.7% of his passes for 901 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.

White started three games for the Jets last season, going 1-2. He had an impressive outing in an upset win against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8, where he threw for 405 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in a 34-31 victory. White also had a rough outing against the Buffalo Bills just two weeks later, in which he threw for 251 yards and four interceptions in a 45-17 loss.

This quarterback switch was a decision many saw coming. After a Sunday full of drama, Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters that he was not committing two starting Wilson vs. the Bears. In the 10-3 loss to the rival New England Patriots last week, Wilson completed just 9 of 22 passes for 77 yards. He missed several simple throws and had a couple would-be interceptions dropped. The Jets recorded just 103 yards of total offense — and picked up just two total yards in the second half. It led Saleh to label his offense as “dog s—.”

As if things couldn’t get any worse, Wilson then failed to take his fair share of the blame for the embarrassing performance. When asked if he felt like he let the Jets defense down after their incredible effort, Wilson responded with a quick “no.” Sources in the Jets locker room told SNY that the quarterback was “walking around after the game ‘like he wasn’t the problem.'” It apparently rubbed “more than a few” the wrong way.

In seven games played this season, Wilson has completed 55.6% of his passes for 1,279 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. Wilson has the fewest passing touchdowns through 20 career starts among any active quarterback (13), he’s never had more than two passing touchdowns in a single game, he has more games with fewer than 100 passing yards than 300 passing yards, and he ranks last in the league in completion percentage in each of the past two seasons.

Saleh told reporters Wednesday that Wilson’s career in New York is not over, and that he will play again this season. The coach said his young signal-caller just “needs a reset.” The quarterback position has been holding the Jets back this season. Now, they will be trying someone new.

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