FLOWERHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets coach Robert Saleh is wavering on his commitment to Zach Wilson, setting up a possible quarterback change this week.
Three weeks after saying that Wilson would be the starter for the rest of the season, barring injury, Saleh was undecided on Monday about whether the 2021 second overall pick would start on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
This marked the first sign of the organization’s doubts about Wilson’s status as the No. 1 quarterback.
“We are putting everything on the table in the next few days,” Saleh said.
Asked if he was ready to name Wilson as a starting this week, he said, “Not now, not until I evaluate everything.”
Wilson was informed of his condition by the coaches, essentially leaving him in limbo.
Mike White is next on the depth chart, followed by Joe Flacco, who started the first three games as Wilson recovered from a pre-season knee injury. Saleh did not rule out the quarterback as a possible replacement.
Wilson is 5-2 as a starter, but he’s pitched poorly in two of the last three games – both losses to the New England Patriots. He completed only 9 of 22 passes for a career-low 77 yards in a 10–3 loss on Sunday. Later, he showed little accountability with comments that went viral. When asked if he lowered the defense, Wilson said, “No, no.”
Sources said some defensive players were upset by the remarks.
Clearly, Saleh was not pleased with the way Wilson handled his post-game news conference.
“Is it a mistake? Sure,” Saleh said. “Is it something that would make him better? Absolutely.”
He said Wilson needs to understand that “it’s our job to take the bullets and own it,” adding, “I don’t think it’s an indication of how he feels about his team or his teammates.” feel.”
A source said Wilson’s poor play was discussed at Monday’s team meeting. Saleh said that all good and bad performances are discussed in team meetings.
At 6-4, the Jets are still in the playoff hunt, but they may not be getting much production from Wilson. He only had four touchdown passes, one less than Flacco, who hasn’t played since Week 3.
Saleh emphasized that every position will be evaluated, not just quarterback.
“When you get 100 yards of offense [actually, 103]I don’t care how good New England is – and they are good – this is unacceptable,” Saleh said. “This is not NFL football.”
A fuming Saleh said after the game that the offensive performance in the second half (2 total yards) was “dog s—“. Saleh said Monday that he has no plans to replace the playcaller, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
Wilson came under heavy criticism after throwing three interceptions on October 30 against the Patriots, but he responded well with a solid game in a Buffalo Bills upset.
But Sunday’s performance was a huge step back. Receivers Garrett Wilson and Denzel Mims were visibly frustrated during the game, and Garrett Wilson told reporters without mentioning Zach Wilson’s name, describing the offense as a “sorry” unit.
“I think we have a championship-quality defense and I think we have really good players,” Saleh said. “From a planning standpoint, I think we’re right up there with everybody else. But I’m just trying to evaluate to see how we can reduce this offense.”
Wilson ranked 23rd in total QBR (45.2) and 34th among 34 qualified passers in completion percentage (55.6). As expected, all three players made available to the media on Monday expressed confidence in Wilson. When asked about his level of confidence in Wilson, guard LeCean Tomlinson said, “It’s high. He’s our quarterback. What do you mean?”